January 24

Forget fantasy football. In Colby player’s league, champs are economists

Assistant professor Finley Edwards and many colleagues earn bragging rights by assembling teams of titans in their chosen field.

By J. Craig Anderson canderson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Finley Edwards, an assistant professor of economics at Colby College in Waterville, was mentioned on NPR’s quiz show “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!” last Saturday for his participation in a fantasy league in which players create teams of university economics departments made up of superstars in the field.

David Leaming/Morning Sentinel

FOR MORE information about the RePEc Fantasy League, click here

FOR A LIST of top-ranked economists, click here

The top-ranked player in the entire league is now Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, winner of the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal, which is awarded annually to a U.S. economist younger than 40 who is judged to have “made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.”

University of Chicago economist Becker, Edwards’ most sought-after player, is ranked No. 18.

Overall, Edwards said, his team isn’t doing very well. “It’s in the 70th percentile,” he said, in perfect economist-speak.

No money or prizes are awarded in fantasy economics, Edwards said, and winners are only temporary, since there is no defined “season.” The game just continues on forever.

So why play?

Edwards said the real fun is that fantasy economics provides a way for economists to validate their admiration for certain colleagues and root for their future success.

“It’s a way for me to kind of figuratively put my money where my mouth is,” he said.

In Edwards’ opinion, up-and-comers who are likely to increase in both value and ranking include 2013 John Bates Clark Medal winner Raj Chetty and incoming Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

“I think she’s going to have a higher rank as Fed chair than she did as a member of the Board of Governors,” he said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

canderson@pressherald.com

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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