Continuing to pick World Cup matches according to what the countries have done for my career as a scholar. The approach does ok because of a spurious correlation: populous & rich countries are likely to have both (1) good performances in international sports and (2) strong universities.
How has my ridiculous approach to picking teams performed? There have been 24 matches so far. For one of them, I couldn't make a prediction (neither Cameroon nor Ecuador has done much of anything for my career...yet!). Seven of them ended in a tie (purists will say that I should be able to predict ties... but, com'on, I'm already stretching with this silly approach to predict winners). How about the remaining 16 matches where my decision-rule and the outcome were decisive? I've got 11 wins and 5 losses.
Here are the June 15 matches:
Côte d’Ivoire v. Norway -- Tough call. No visits or co-authors from either country. I've got my former student Nathaniel Cogley teaching at Ivory Coast's International University of Grand Bassam. But the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) has done a lot to promote my research. I'm going to have to stay neutral on this one.
Netherlands v. Canada -- I've got co-authors from both countries: Eric Werker and Jan-Egbert Sturm. But only one article published in Economic Development and Cultural Change with Werker. I've got three articles with Sturm published in Journal of Development Economics, European Economic Review, and Journal of Conflict Resolution. I'm with the Dutch again. Go Orange!
China v. New Zealand -- I have loved my teaching experiences with Peking University's Guanghua School of Management. Happy to be with China!
(By the way, research shows that home field advantage matters in international competitions, so I am worried about my Dutch pick over Canada. But I gotta stick to my career strategy!)