Friday, June 13, 2014

World Cup is Back!

It's been too long. Time once again to start blogging about the World Cup! Since I know nothing about soccer, I just pick teams according to how I'm connected to them... Since I'm a quantitative type guy, I typically root for the country that has contributed the most to my career in academia. There turns out to be a nice, albeit spurious, correlation because big and rich countries are likely to have both (1) good performances in international sports competitions and (2) strong universities that can contribute to my career in many different ways.

I've been away from blogging for a while because I got busy finishing my co-authored book with Axel Dreher: The Political Economy of the United Nations Security Council: Money and Influence.

The book has just been released, and I'll have more to say about that soon enough. But for now, how about some ridiculous analysis of the World Cup?

Yesterday's victory for Brazil was a no-brainer for the Vreelander rule. Between my co-author José Cheibub and my co-teaching with Fernando Limongi at USP, Brazil has done way more for my career than has Croatia. It was an easy pick for me.

Vreelander picks for today's matches:

Mexico v. Cameroon: Thanks to my wonderful friend Covadonga Meseguer, I once had the wonderful opportunity to visit Mexico City and give a talk at CIDE. Cameroon -- I'm still waiting... So, I'm with Mexico all the way!

Spain v. Netherlands: Tough call. I love teaching with Spain's ESADE Business School through the joint Georgetown GEMBA program. And I also had the excellent experience of giving a talk in Madrid for Santander. But I've got 3 really nice publications with my co-author Jan-Egbert Sturm (in pretty darn good journals: JDE, JCR, and EER). Since academia rewards research more than teaching, I'm going to have to go with the Netherlands. (Plus, with a name like Vreeland, how can I not?) But, fear not, GEMBA Family, I'm sure to be with Spain in future matches.

Chile v. Australia: Easy call. Never been to Chile. And I had a cool research affiliation with the Globalisation and Development Centre at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia (thanks to my friend Barry Williams). Aussie, Aussie, Aussie oi,oi,oi!

More to come tomorrow!

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