Saturday, August 05, 2006

Advice to academics

Prof Greg Mankiw:

The truth is that producing bad papers is one of the costs of producing good papers. When you swing for a home run, you are more likely to strike out. The only way to avoid the occasional strike out is to quit the game.
Here is my advice to a young academic: You will be judged by your five to ten best papers.
Your bad papers will be mostly forgotten. So be willing take risks, if there is a reasonable chance of a big payoff.

From a blogger perspective: As a blogger and a klutz (see my last post - er, wait, no don't), I take great comfort in Prof. Mankiw's emphasis on risk. Then again, perhaps I take greatest comfort in my anonymity!

But wait! A reader offers to complete Mankiw's statement in the comment section:
Studies show that if you are typical even your good papers will be read by essentially no one -- and almost certainly will never be read again before the decade is out.

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