Some pleasant surprises

For some reason, my career seems to have gone exceptionally well since I started blogging. I had two pleasant surprises last week. First, I was told that I’d been elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. This is a big honour for me, as agricultural and resource economics is where I started out, and still a core focus of my research (particularly on the Murray-Darling Basin). Admittedly, once academics reach a certain age, we like nothing better than to give each other awards, but that doesn’t detract from the pleasure in getting one.

Much more unexpected was receiving an email from Kenneth Arrow. There are a lot of very smart and insightful people in the economics profession, but in most cases I tell myself that, if only I work hard and think clearly I have a shot at matching them (this may not be true, but it keeps me motivated). Then there are a handful of people like Arrow, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman. Reading their stuff, I get the feeling I could work for a hundred years without matching them.

Anyway, the email had a fairly generic title and I expected I was just on an address list. But when I opened it, it was an invitation to me to give a series of lectures on the economics of risk, in Jerusalem next year. Of course, I plan to accept.