In January, I posted and tweeted this:

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which is the SHA1 hash of the following text, my prediction of the 2012 RES tour party:

Today is Thursday January 5 2012 and here are my predictions for the 2012 Review of Economics Studies Tour.  Last year I made my predictions after having interviewed all of the top candidates.  This year I am making my prediction only after reading job market papers and letters of recommendations and before actually meeting the candidates in an interview setting.  The interviews begin tomorrow morning.  We can compare my results and decide whether the interviews are informative or not.

Gabriel Carroll
Melissa Dell
Arun Chandresekher
Michal Fabinger
Paulo Somaini
Briana Chang
Treb Allen

As with last year I make these predictions not because I have tremendous confidence in them but simply as an experiment to see how easy it is to predict job market outcomes well in advance.  This year I am fairly confident that I will get at least 3 right.  4 is my expected value.

You can verify this by visiting this web site, copying and pasting the prediction text and generating the SHA1 hash.  If you are curious how it works, here is Wikipedia.

And here is the actual list of RES tourists selected this year:

Saki Bigio – NYU (going to Columbia GSB)
Gabriel Carroll – MIT (going to Stanford?)
Melissa Dell – MIT (Going to Harvard Society of Fellows)
Nathaniel Hendren – MIT (Going to Stanford ?)
Matteo Maggiori – Berkeley (Don’t know where he is going.)
Paulo Somaini – Stanford (Coming to Northwestern????)
Joe Vavra – Yale (Going to Chicago Booth School of Business)

As you can see I got three out of seven.  Which I must say looks like a pretty poor score but hindsight is hard to shake and I made this prediction  wild guess after only having read recommendation letters and job market papers.  I take this as evidence that the face-to-face interviews (that happened in the days after I made this prediction) convey a lot of information.  I am pretty sure I would have gotten two more if I made the prediction two days later.

More generally I would say that my miserable performance both last year and this pretty much dispells the cynical view that job market stars are minted before the market opens.  If you don’t believe me, next year you try it.

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