Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Economics category.

Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it

Boolean models (“it’s either A or (B and C)”) seem to be the natural way that we think, but additive models (“10 points if you have A, 3 points if you have B, 2 points if you have C”) seem to describe reality better—at least, the aspects of reality that I study in my research. […]

“Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done it in pretty much exactly the way you would expect a company to screw up when it doesn’t drill down into the data.”

Palko tells a good story: One of the accepted truths of the Netflix narrative is that CEO Reed Hastings is obsessed with data and everything the company does is data driven . . . Of course, all 21st century corporations are relatively data-driven. The fact that Netflix has large data sets on customer behavior does […]

Subtleties with measurement-error models for the evaluation of wacky claims

Paul Pudaite writes: In the latest Journal of the American Statistical Association (September 2014, Vol. 109 No. 507), Andrew Harvey and Alessandra Luati published a paper [preprint here] — “Filtering With Heavy Tails” — featuring the phenomenon you had asked about (“…(non-Gaussian) models for which, as y gets larger, E(x|y) can actually go back toward […]

How to read (in quantitative social science). And by implication, how to write.

It all started when I was reading Chris Blattman’s blog and noticed this: One of the most provocative and interesting field experiments I [Blattman] have seen in this year: Poor people often do not make investments, even when returns are high. One possible explanation is that they have low aspirations and form mental models of […]

4-year-old post on Arnold Zellner is oddly topical

I’m re-running this Arnold Zellner obituary because it is relevant to two recent blog discussions: 1. Differences between econometrics and statistics 2. Old-fashioned sexism (of the quaint, not the horrible, variety)

Question about data mining bias in finance

Finance professor Ravi Sastry writes: Let’s say we have N vectors of data, {y_1,y_2,…,y_N}. Each is used as the dependent variable in a series of otherwise identical OLS regressions, yielding t-statistics on some parameter of interest, theta: {t_1,t_2,…,t_N}. The maximum t-stat is denoted t_n*, and the corresponding data are y_n*. These are reported publicly, as […]

“Differences Between Econometrics and Statistics” (my talk this Monday at the University of Pennsylvania econ dept)

Differences Between Econometrics and Statistics:  that’s the title of the talk I’ll be giving at the econometrics workshop at noon on Monday. At 4pm 4:30pm in the same place, I’ll be speaking on Stan. And here are some things for people to read: For “Differences between econometrics and statistics”: Everyone’s trading bias for variance at […]

Social research is not the same as health research: Macartan Humphreys gives new guidelines for ethics in social science research

In reaction to the recent controversy about a research project that interfered with an election in Montana, political scientist Macartan Humphreys shares some excellent ideas on how to think about ethics in social science research: Social science researchers rely on principles developed by health researchers that do not always do the work asked of them […]

Ray Could Write

Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. . . . You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: For chess makes nothing happen: it survives In the […]

“Your Paper Makes SSRN Top Ten List”

I received the following email from the Social Science Research Network, which is a (legitimate) preprint server for research papers: Dear Andrew Gelman: Your paper, “WHY HIGH-ORDER POLYNOMIALS SHOULD NOT BE USED IN REGRESSION DISCONTINUITY DESIGNS”, was recently listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for: PSN: Econometrics, Polimetrics, & Statistics (Topic) and Political Methods: […]