Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Fewer Than Sinatra: Three Quasi-Regrets

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Abstract

I discuss three quasi-regrets in my career. Two involve things I neither wrote nor said, and these regrets are not personal but over how so much policy discussion has evolved away from substantive discussion into social media attacks and counterattacks. The third involved an unpublished draft of a paper that contained an error from my remissness in carefully checking the work of my research assistants. It was only after the draft was circulated that I found the error and withdrew the paper. A number of people said in response they believe this type of problem is far more common than is understood in the profession, but that many cover it up. Advice to all: If you ever make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and move on; don’t turn a mistake into a major character flaw.