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Sunday, February 03, 2008

I Want My Ph.D.

The other day I was discussing common anomalies like the Size, Market/Book, and Accurals effects with my investments class. The key point I was trying to make is that these proxies must be capturing some underlying risk factor (for example, the Mkt/Book effect is often explained by linking it to distress risk). In other words, if there's not greater risk of some kind associated with investing in low M/B stocks, then you'd be getting (just like the old Dire Straits song), Money For Nothing. In case you don't remember it, here's the video:


In a strange coincidence, Mike Munger just linked to a cover of this song by the band "Breezewood Honeymoon" titled "I Want My PhD":
Now look at those professors—that’s the way you do it
You do your research with your PhD
That ain’t working—that’s the way you do it
Money for talking and write for free

That ain’t working—that’s the way you do it
Let me tell you those professors ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on their typing fingers
Maybe get a little blister on their tongues

They want to publish peer-reviewed papers
They got the fire in the bel---ly
They are movers and shakers
Because they have that damned degree

See that rumpled fellow with the pipe and the tweed coat
Granny glasses and the thinning hair?
That rumpled fellow is a famous scholar
That rumpled fellow is a luminaire

He wants to publish peer reviewed papers… (etc.)

Someday I’ll finish my dissertation
I’ll write it up and I’ll turn it in
Someday I’ll have me a tenure-track position
Man, that’s when the fun begins
I’ll teach class Tuesday and Thursday
I’ll leave the research to my advisees
I’ll criticize them in office hours
I’ll give them all the third degree

They’ve got to publish peer reviewed papers… (etc.)

That ain’t working—that’s the way you do it
They leave the research to their advisees
That ain’t working—that’s the way you do it
Money for talking and write for free"
Now all we need is a gangsta version.

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