Picking World Cup matches according to my connections to the home countries is silly, but turns out to do ok thanks to a spurious correlation: populous 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. So far, the record is 3 wins and 1 loss (and I picked Netherlands to beat Spain). Here are the Vreelander picks for today's matches:
Uruguay vs. Costa Rica: Thanks to Diego Aboal and Juan Andrés Moraes, I've got a piece published in their edited volume entitled Economía Política en Uruguay: Instituciones y Actores Políticos en el Proceso Económico. ¡Vamos Uruguay!
England vs. Italy: This one is tough to decide. Two of my co-authors, Silvia Marchesi and Paolo Spada come from Italy. But I once had a job offer from the London School of Economics. Publications are rewarded... but jobs are the reward. Then throw in the fact that three English scholars, Matthew Gould, Matthew Rablen, and Alastair Smith have co-authored with me, and the choice becomes obvious. Go England!