More useful to science [than being subjectively original] — and more truly fulfilling if you can bring it off — is to try to stay informed on what other scientists have done and to advance the frontier by your own quantum jumps. – Paul Samuelson

A Fine Theorem is a summary of recent economics research written by Kevin Bryan (kevin.bryan AT rotman.utoronto.ca), an Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management. My academic page can be found at http://www.kevinbryanecon.com. I tend to read within my fields of interest – innovation, micro theory, and philosophy/methodology – though posts are not exclusive to those areas. This site at heart is really just a way for me to keep track of articles I might need in my own research, nothing more. The RSS feed of new posts on this site is also syndicated on Twitter via @Afinetheorem.

Unsurprisingly, I am only really aware of frontier research in my own narrow fields, so I enjoy reading blogs which cover novel research in other areas of social science. Though there are lots of good social science blogs which are not as focused on exploring new research, I particularly enjoy the following research-heavy venues:

Cheap Talk is written by the well-known Northwestern theorists Jeff Ely and Sandeep Baliga
Chris Blattman’s blog occasionally discusses interesting new work in political economy and development
The Growth Economics Blog by Houston’s Dietz Vollrath has frequent interesting discussions of research on economic growth, particularly theoretical work
The Leisure of the Theory Class, a well-named blog by a group of theorists including Penn’s Rakesh Vohra, Kellogg’s Eran Shmaya and Olin’s Jonathan Weinstein, often covers some very nice results in high theory
The NEP-HIS blog covers, once a week or so, a new working paper on economic history, generally written up by grad students
Pseudo-Erasmus writes very interesting posts on economic history, particularly concerning the Industrial Revolution
A Sociologist’s Commonplace Book by Michigan’s Dan Hirschman provides nice insights from an economic sociologist’s viewpoint.
Trade Diversion by Booth’s Jonathan Dingel is a nice resource on trade
The Why Nations Fail blog by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Harvard’s James Robinson is self-recommending if you care about the intersection of political development and economic outcomes

13 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Mr. Bryan,

    Thanks for your insightful remarks on my The Vice of Economists. My only re-remark would be to say that you are a trifle complacent about the two chief vices (also discussed in The Secret Sins of Economics [on line now], and at more length in Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics (1994, chps. on mathematical economics) and in Ziliak and McCloskey,The Cult of Statistical Significance (2008)). It is not good to be complacennt about two very prevalent and, you admit, very bad sins. They both arise from existence-theorem thinking, which is very far from what physics ot history use: does an effect “exist.” It’s a bad question, as you will I think agree on reflection.


    Deirdre McCloskey

  2. John Prosser says:

    Haven’t been on this (great) site in a while – when did the theme change? (Disapproving tone.) Moreover, how can I search by tags other than clicking on those already attached to posts?

  3. cvgwhitaker says:

    I am gladdened by your site and hope that it shall continue.

  4. Greg Taylor says:

    Great blog, thanks Kevin.

  5. I love reading your reflections, especially on the classics. Thanks for this wonderful blog! :-)

  6. Many nice posts, I’ll reblog or print out your item on the nice beer technology paper for my IO course – I have it for students to read but you provide a ready-made what-to-read-for memo. I use the Tremblay & Tremblay volume to provide an industry study, and it meshes nicely. But I’ll also hand out your Coase note, and look for fruther. mike smitka, washington and lee university

  7. skassios says:

    Just discovered this blog through ”Marginal Revolution” and I will be searching previous articles of course. Studied economics at Jonkoping International Business School in Sweden and now back in Athens to help Greek entrepreneurs promote their business worldwide through a social media community I’m running ”Zorba The Entrepreneur”. You are very welcome to join Kevin and post your articles, links, ideas, that can help and inspire troubled young Greeks to succeed. https://www.facebook.com/groups/zorba.the.entrepreneur/

  8. raee says:

    To what extent do you think sociologist and economist can work together?

  9. Hi, I was wondering if mechanism design literature has anything to say about designing mechanisms that are less prone to corruption, especially in public procurement, but not only. Do you know of any paper on the subject?

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