Blogging and Overconfidence

I’d been waiting for someone else to write an excellent response to this from Matthew Kahn, and Diane Lim Rogers delivers:

I think we female economists have our own empirical (not just theoretical) reasons why those of us who blog aren’t the same people as those of us who are at the top of the REPEC list. In my case, it’s also closely related to why those of us (even non-excellent female economists) who blog don’t typically blog at the same frequency as the (even most excellent) male economists who blog. It’s called we have and care about other things and people in our lives, not just our own individual, introspective views about how the supposed world around us supposedly works (in our own opinion)! And that’s even things and people other than what Matthew counts so endearingly as the “home production” sort of things–you know, “cooking and rearing children.”

But yes, we female economists who happen to have families do typically end up doing most of the home production, as our typical husbands who are typically other economists typically are oblivious to what needs to get done. You know, because the guys are so busy thinking their own deep, important thoughts about how the world swirling around them works, while in theory the guys are convincing themselves that they are the better, more successful, more “excellent” economists (or whatever they are professionally which they confuse with what defines them personally).

I think the frequency issue is particularly interesting because we have a fair amount of research indicating that men suffer from more overconfidence bias than women. And yet in blogging, unlike in driving, I think overconfidence is rewarded. Overconfident drivers tend to die, whereas being wrong on the Internet is a time-honored way of getting links.


At worst, you get emails. For example, just yesterday I wrote that “Republicans generally do winner-take-all primaries, which makes for very unpredictable outcomes in a multi-candidate field.” Did I actually check to see if that’s true? Well, no, I didn’t. I just remembered it. But in fact as JH and others pointed out to me, this is no longer true and the new rules say “A state scheduled prior to April 1 is required to allocated at-large delegates proportionally, but has choice and can continue to allocate congressional district delegates on a winner-take-all basis (win the district, win all the delegates from that district).”