The Curious Culture of Economic Theory with Ran Spiegler

In this episode, we talk with Ran Spiegler about his book “The Curious Culture of Economic Theory”. The book is a collection of essays about how the professional culture of economics shapes the way theory is done. Our interview focuses on Chapter 8, in which Ran describes the story behind his American Economic Review paper “Search Design and Broad Matching” co-authored with Kfir Eliaz. In this project, Ran and Kfir attempted to study a problem using an established but “unfashionable” modeling approach. Despite getting interesting results, they later rewrote the paper using the standard approach in the literature. Among other things, we discuss why they felt they had to do this and how the new design nudged them into asking certain questions they were originally not interested in.

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