Friday, July 9, 2010

Vreelander: The Reckoning

After humiliating defeat at the (eight) hands of Paul the Octopus, The Vreelander has a final chance at redemption in the World Cup 2010.

The Psychic Squid has predicted Germany over Uruguay for 3rd place, and Spain over The Netherlands for 1st place.

Paul and I agree on Germany. But we disagree on the final. The Vreelander is with The Netherlands!

Paul's decision is based on ... nothing ... He takes food out of one of two boxes marked by the flags of the competing countries. And Paul has called every game correctly when it comes to Germany this WC. He lacks experience, however, when Germany is not involved...

The Vreelander decision-rule is based on a spurious correlation which links size and economic strength to university-strength and soccer-strength. Out of loyalty to my colleagues and students, I root for the country that has contributed the most to my career. Amazingly, the decision-rule has a current game-by-game record of 40 correct predictions, 8 incorrect, and 14 ties.

Analysis of Uruguay-Germany

I am indebted to Uruguay:
A piece I wrote was translated and published in Uruguay by Diego Aboal and Juan Andrés Moraes.

But look what Germany has done for me:
Not one, not two, but three publications with a German co-author (Axel Dreher). Plus, not one but two working papers with three other German co-authors (Martin Gassebner, Stephan Klasen, and Michael Lamla).

Plus I've given nine presentations in Germany.

Analysis of Netherlands-Spain

Spain has done more for me than most countries:
I have been teaching in a joint Georgetown-ESADE program. ESADE is a top-ranked business school with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, and Buenos Aires. I've also given a talk at Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Plus, my friend and colleague, Covadonga Meseguer cites me in her book (which I endorsed).

But the Netherlands has done a lot to earn my loyalty:
I have not one but two publications with a Dutch co-author, Jan-Egbert Sturm. One of these publications just won an award. Plus we have an additional working paper that we recently posted. Finally, the Dutch Finance Ministry sponsored a trip for me to Amsterdam to take part in a conference on reforming the Bretton Woods Institutions.

And I have my Dutch colleague, Erik Voeten, who not only promotes my career, but also my blog over at The Monkey Cage. Erik has also pointed out that The Vreelander owes its identity to Holland. As I am a descendant of the original Vreeland, my name comes from a village in the Netherlands. Conclusion: GO ORANGE!

The bottom line is that I have been fortunate in my career, receiving a great deal of international support. At the end of the day, Paul the Octopus and I both base our choices on what we "eat," and I have benefitted from the generosity of many countries. It's been so much fun rooting for all of my adopted homes. I love you all!

1 comment:

  1. Professor,

    I heve to say as a brazilian I want to forget this world cup (at least we'll have the home advantage in 2014).

    Luckly for you (and for me as well) Paul can't point his (eigth) hands and say "I told you so".