Source: Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts



I don’t know what to make of this chart . . .

Category: Digital Media, UnGuru

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

8 Responses to “External Prominence and Minimum Speaking Fee”

  1. anewc2 says:

    Most of the correlation seems to come from Paul Volker and a half dozen no-hopers in the cheap seats. (I can’t read any of the other names.)

  2. RW says:

    Setting aside the criticism that many of the names are not economists, academic or otherwise, it appears that “prominence” as measured by indexed web pages has very little correlation with speaking fee.

    I suspect correlation would be a lot stronger between speaking fee and sociopolitical stance.

  3. Hoosier89 says:

    Wow. I see many people on that scattergraph who I would pay to never say anything in public ever again. There looks to be zero by way of having a good track record vs pay.

  4. BetaDist says:

    I don’t see much of a relationship here.

    This is a graph of speaking fees regressed on log(Google hits), which I’m guessing they did to log-linearize what is probably the exponential growth in Google hits when an individual becomes well-known. And yes, there is a positive slope to the regression line, which is plotted in the graph. However, if you take a look at the $40,000 mark, you can see that Don Sull earns the same amount for speaking as does Alan Greenspan — despite the big difference in Google hits (about 3,000 versus 730,000 approximately after exponentiating). Quite frankly, the relationship looks flat to me. In other words, I don’t see any correlation (positively or negatively) between these two variables. Again, as another example, Harry Dent Jr., Myron Scholes, and Ben Stein all appear to make exactly the same for speeches regardless of Google hits.

    And intuitively, why would we expect to see such a relationship? Bowe Bergdahl has millions of indexed web pages but I don’t foresee a lot of interest in hiring him to give a speech. Perhaps a better predictor of the level of speaking fees might be something else such as years of experience, years in political office or in business, whether the individual is a CEO or no, reputation…etc.

    • BetaDist says:

      I found the paper online here:

      And here is what the authors claim about the above figure (pg. 3):

      “The picture demonstrates a positive relationship. The reasonably high correlation (Pearson r = 0.510) suggests that external prominence may impact the ability to obtain high rents on the market for speaking fees. This correlation is driven primarily by the sample of nonacademic economists, for which the value is 0.543 (p = 0.000, N = 66), compared to 0.336 (p = 0.075, N = 29) for academics. It therefore seems that in monetary terms, nonacademic economists are better able to capitalize on their external prominence.”

      Maybe. Maybe not. The relationship looks flat to me.

  5. Molesworth says:

    A good PR firm?

  6. CD4P says:

    Holy Ben Steinery!!!!

    Good thing those he entertained weren’t the ones listening to his investment advice.

  7. 873450 says:

    Alan Greenspan – $40,000 speaking fee
    Rarely has a Fed Chair been so wrong about so much for so long at the expense of so many (excluding exempted Wall Street and 1%). Still, he keeps getting rewarded for it.