Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup June 26


This is it - the final day of the World Cup group stage. Going into it, I'm at 22 wins, 13 losses, and 8 ties. Some analysis of those results will be coming up. But for now, here are my picks using my fun rule to pick teams according to what each country has done for my career:

Portugal v. Ghana: Neither country has done any direct favors for me, so I'm going to the book index for this one. 11 to 17, Ghana.

USA v. Germany: There's only one country that has definitely done more for my career than Germany. Go USA!!!

South Korea v. Belgium: With apologies to Pierre-Guillaume Méon and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), I've got to go with Korea University's summer campus where I taught back in 2009. I also should thank the Bank of Korea for inviting me to their International Conference on the Future of the International Financial Architecture back in 2011. Go Korea!

Algeria v. Russia: Thanks the ESADE/Georgetown GEMBA program, I've taught three times in Russia. Russia didn't pay me, though, so I'm only slightly leaning their way. I'll happily switch to Algeria if any universities want to invite me for a visit in the next few hours. Otherwise, I guess I'm with Russia.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup June 25


One win, one tie, and two losses yesterday, bringing me to 20 wins, 13 losses, and 7 ties. Here are today's picks, using my rule of choosing teams according to what each country has done for my career:

Nigeria v. Argentina: Having taught at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM), my choice is clear. ¡Vamos Argentina!

Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Iran: If I didn't have a preference for actually rooting for a winner, I'd go with a 0-0 tie here - because that's what I've got with these country. Time to go to the index of my new book with Axel Dreher. What a battle! Iran makes 21 appearances, while Bosnia-Herzegovina appears 11 times. Iran it is.

Honduras v. Switzerland: Thank you, ETH. Thank you Review of International Organizations. Hopp Schwiiz!!

Ecuador v. France: I've got to go back to 1992 to find a connection with either of these countries: study abroad in the Sorbonne's cours de la civilisation française pour les étrangers. Vive la France.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

World Cup June 24


Yesterday: 4 games, 4 wins! Made me feel a little better and brought my record to 19 wins, 11 losses, and 6 ties. I'm not feeling so confident about my picks for today, but I'm sticking to my rule of choosing teams according to what each country has done for my career:

Costa Rica v. England: Oh, England... when will you learn the lessons of Soccernomics and play as one United Kingdom? The full force of the UK economy is what produced my connections to your country - the London School of Economics and my co-authors Matthew Gould, Matthew Rablen, and Alastair Smith... Good luck, United Kingdom.

Italy v. Uruguay: Tough call. I've got two Italian co-authors: Silvia Marchesi and Paolo Spada. But Diego Aboal and Juan Andrés Moraes translated a paper of mine and included it in their book Economía Política en Uruguay: Instituciones y Actores Políticos en el Proceso Económico. I'll have to go to the citation count... and, according to Google Scholar, the prediction is Italy.

Greece v. Côte d'Ivoire: I must root for Harris Mylonas and Eleftherotypia. Greece.

Japan v. Colombia: Not at all confident about this, but the closest connection I have to either country is my article about Japan in World Politics with Daniel Yew Mao Lim. Go Japan.

Monday, June 23, 2014

World Cup June 23


I don't want to talk about yesterday. I'm at 15-11-6. Nuff said. Here are today's picks:

Australia v. Spain: Does this match even matter? (No.) I've got connections to both countries and wanted them both to do so much better. A few more connections to Spain. ¿Vamos España?

Netherlands v. Chile: Going with my co-author Jan-Egbert Sturm. Hup, Holland, Hup... Clockwork Oranje!

Cameroon v. Brazil: Going with my co-author José Cheibub and with Fernando Limongi thanks to our co-teaching at USP. Força Brasil!

Croatia v. Mexico: Thank you for inviting me to present my research, CIDE... ¡Vamos México!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

World Cup June 22


Two wins and a tie yesterday, using my rule to pick World Cup matches according to what the countries have for my career. I'm now at 14-10-5. Here are today's picks:

Belgium v. Russia: Tough call. I've taught 3 times in Russia - but it was for the Georgetown/ESADE GEMBA program. I didn't receive a cent from a Russian university. No Russian co-authors either. Meantime, Pierre-Guillaume Méon invited me to give a talk at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Had a great visit...so go Belgium!

South Korea v. Algeria: I had a wonderful time teaching for Korea University's summer campus back in 2009. Global KU Frontier Spirit all the way!

United States v. Portugal: Sooo excited for this one... USA!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

World Cup June 21


Another tough one yesterday for the teams I picked using my rule to favor countries that have done the most to help my career: 2 losses and 1 win, bringing me to 12-10-4. Here are today's picks:

Argentina v. Iran: Great times teaching for the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM). ¡Vamos Argentina!

Germany v. Ghana: Going with the co-authors: Axel Dreher, Martin Gassebner, Stephan Klasen, and Michael Lamla. Schland!

Nigeria v. Bosnia and Herzegovina: I wrote a bit about Nigeria in my first book. Go Nigeria!

Friday, June 20, 2014

World Cup June 20


Still having a lot of fun rooting for the countries I have connections with... but not nearly with as much success as I had in 2010. I'm now at 11-8-4. But I just love watching these games and cheering for one team over another, which is why I never go for ties. So here are today's picks:

Italy v. Costa Rica: This time, I'm with my Italian co-authors: Silvia Marchesi and Paolo Spada (who published with me here and here).

Switzerland v. France: Studied abroad in France back in 1992. But what have you done for me lately? Nothing. And Switzerland has done so much! (Thank you, ETH. Thank you Review of International Organizations.) Hopp Schwiiz!!

Honduras v. Ecuador: Nothing. So, I'll choose the country that contributed the most to my recent book with Axel Dreher: Honduras appears once. Ecuador appears 17 times. (Makes you curious to see what we have to say about Ecuador, eh? The book is in stock and on sale at Amazon!) Meantime... ¡Vamos Ecuador!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World Cup June 19


Mixed results yesterday using my rule to pick countries that have done the most to help my career: 1 win, 2 losses. Overall record is now 10-7-3 (I definitely did better in 2010). Today's picks:

Colombia v. Côte d'Ivoire: Once again, I've got nothing. If you want my support, invite me for a visit :-) Meantime, I've got to make a choice. So, I'll go with the country that appears the most times in my new book with Axel Dreher about money and influence at the United Nations Security Council: 15 for Colombia, and 3 for Côte d'Ivoire. Colombia it is!

Uruguay v. England: With respect to Diego Aboal and Juan Andrés Moraes, who included a chapter by me in their volume entitled Economía Política en Uruguay: Instituciones y Actores Políticos en el Proceso Económico, I've got to go with my co-authors: Matthew Gould, Matthew Rablen, and Alastair Smith (published here and here). Go England!

Japan v. Greece: Splitting hairs here. Never been to either country. My connection to Japan is that I published a scholarly article about it in World Politics with the great Daniel Yew Mao Lim. My connection to Greece is that I co-authored a blog piece with the amazing Harris Mylonas. I also once got some very nice press in Greece. But let's face it. Academia doesn't (yet) reward blogs or press. It rewards academic publications. I guess I must side with Japan.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World Cup June 18


Using my fun rule to pick countries that have done the most to help my career, I had an ok day yesterday: 1 win, 2 ties, and no losses. I'll take it. Overall record is now 9-5-3. Today's picks:

Australia vs. Netherlands: Loved visiting Bond University in Australia (thanks to my friend Barry Williams), but it's hard to top the 3 publications with my friend and co-author Jan-Egbert Sturm (in JDE, JCR, and EER). Go Orange!

Spain vs. Chile: Time to give some love back to my friends at ESADE. Special shout out to the colleagues who have taught with me: Luisa Alemany, Fernando Ballabriga, and Pedro Parada. ¡Vamos España!

Cameroon vs. Croatia: I've got nothing here. I'll pick the country that appears the most times in my new book with Axel Dreher about money and influence at the United Nations Security Council: 7 for Cameroon, and 1 for Croatia... but don't forget that Croatia used to be part of Yugoslavia, which appears 23 times in the book (but mostly in footnotes and the index)... Goodness, I have no idea what to do. Go Cameroon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

World Cup June 17


Wow! Yesterday's US victory was the best! What a rush. Overall, I had a great World Cup day: 2 wins, 1 tie. My overall record now stands at 8-5-1. And the tie was in a game where my connections to each team were tenuous at best. Today, I have direction connections to five of the six teams playing. Here are my picks using my silly rule of choosing countries that have done the most for my career:

Belgium vs. Algeria: Thanks to my awesome friend Pierre-Guillaume Méon, I gave a talk at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Go Belgium!

Brazil vs. Mexico: Loved giving a talk at CIDE in Mexico. But Brazil has won my loyalty, thanks to my co-author José Cheibub and my co-teaching with Fernando Limongi at USP. To paraphrase from Casablanca, "[Mexico], I love you. But [Brazil] pays me."

Russia vs. South Korea: Thanks the ESADE/Georgetown GEMBA program, I've taught three times in Russia. But Russia didn't pay for it. Meantime, I had a great time teaching for Korea University's summer campus back in 2009. Global KU Frontier Spirit all the way!

Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup June 16


Some redemption yesterday. My rule of rooting for countries that have done the most to advance my career went 3 for 3, bringing my total record to 6 wins, 5 losses.

Here are today's picks:

Germany vs. Portugal: Easy. German co-authors include Axel Dreher, Martin Gassebner, Stephan Klasen, and Michael Lamla. We've published in Journal of Conflict Resolution (twice), Public Choice (twice), Economic Development and Cultural Change, European Economic Review, and Journal of Development Economics. Plus, Axel and I just published a book with Cambridge University Press! These guys have made a major impact on my career and my life. Gotta root for their home country today!

Iran vs. Nigeria: Other than great students from these countries, I haven't had much contact. So I'll pick the country that appears the most times in my new book with Axel about the United Nations Security Council. Iran comes up 21 times, Nigeria 29. Plus, I wrote a bit about Nigeria in my first book. Go Nigeria!

Ghana vs. United States: Rematch with the team that stopped us during the last World Cup. Gotta go with my own home country here!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

World Cup June 15


Crushed. Yesterday my picks went 0-4, bringing my overall record to 3-5. That's the kind of risk you face when you bet on spurious correlations!

As for the real research on international competitions, another variable that matters, which does not factor into the Vreelander rule, is home field advantage. It's been shown to matter in the Olympics and in the World Cup. The mechanism is unclear. I've seen some evidence of a lagged effect, so it might be the investment that a country puts into their team when hosting. But it could also have to do with the more intuitive support of the home crowd, being in the right time zone, or just being in a more familiar setting. If so, then it might help Ecuador, Honduras, and Argentina.

But it's still great fun to simply cheer for the countries that have done so much for me and my career. A way to give back some of the love...(although if this pattern keeps up, some of these countries might prefer that I *not* root for them ;-) I'm not going to give up on my countries, so here are today's picks:

Switzerland vs. Ecuador: Easy pick. I've spent a lot of time at the amazing university ETH and have a little publication on Switzerland. I'm with the Swiss!

France vs. Honduras: Last World Cup I went against France in some key matches because the country has never invited me for a visit. France, you really should invite me to visit at least once! But I did study abroad at the Sorbonne back in 1992... and I've got nothing from Honduras. Don't expect much loyalty in future matches, but for now, vive la France.

Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Easy pick. I've taught a few times down at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM). ¡Vamos Argentina!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Cup June 14


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:

Colombia vs. Greece: Never been to either country. I've got great students, colleagues, and friends from both. But my good friend Harris Mylonas co-authored a little piece with me. So, go Greece!

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!

Japan vs. Côte d'Ivoire : No co-authors, no visits to either country. But Daniel Yew Mao Lim and I published an article about Japan in World Politics. Go Japan!

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!