Friday, July 04, 2003

Hey you're a star! 

Bidding for talent happens in more places than just sports. I was chatting with a fellow here who used to work at the now-ACC-bound University of Miami. I remember when they went on a buying spree of academics not too long ago (no football jokes, now, please!) and among others got Neil Wallace away from the University of Minnesota. It didn't help them much, alas, and Wallace has since moved on to Penn State.

So now we read another article about bidding on superstar academics. While I groaned on seeing Carol Gilligan (she's no more a superstar than Joe Mays), there are some fascinating bits here of who's being paid how much to do what. I found the piece on Sachs particularly entertaining -- his work at the Harvard Institute for International Development didn't end so well and yet he managed to land on his feet. (From what I can tell, Harvard should be unhappy about letting him get away, but they take a couple of swipes at him as he headed out.)

I don't have anything really insightful to say about the article, except that it even more confirms my opinion that the tournament pay models in economics are increasingly becoming useful in predicting what happens in paying professionals.