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Archive of posts filed under the Economics category.

“iPredict to close after Govt refuses anti-money laundering law exemption”

Richard Barker points us to an update on ipredict, the New Zealand political prediction market. From the news article by Hamish Rutherford: The site, run by Victoria University of Wellington’s commercialisation arm, VicLink, issued a statement to its website and on Twitter on Thursday. According to the iPredict statement, Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges refused […]

Inference from an intervention with many outcomes, not using “statistical significance”

Kate Casey writes: I have been reading your papers “Type S error rates for classical…” and “Why We (Usually) Don’t Have to Worry…” with great interest and would be grateful for your views on the appropriateness of a potentially related application. I have a non-hierarchical dataset of 28 individuals who participated in a randomized control […]

Taleb’s Precautionary Principle: Should we be scared of GMOs?

Skyler Johnson writes: I was wondering if you could (or had already) weigh(ed) in on Nassim Taleb’s Precautionary Principle as it applies to GMOs? I’ve attached his working paper with Rupert Read, Raphael Douady, Joseph Norman and,Yaneer Bar-Yam. It can also be found at his site, See also his response to a critique from […]

“Using prediction markets to estimate the reproducibility of scientific research”

A reporter sent me this new paper by Anna Dreber, Thomas Pfeiffer, Johan Almenberg, Siri Isaksson, Brad Wilson, Yiling Chen, Brian Nosek, and Magnus Johannesson, which begins: Concerns about a lack of reproducibility of statistically significant results have recently been raised in many fields, and it has been argued that this lack comes at substantial […]

Econometrics: Instrument locally, extrapolate globally

Rajeev Dehejia sends along two papers, one with James Bisbee, Cristian Pop-Eleches, and Cyrus Samii on extrapolating estimated local average treatment effects to new settings, and one with Cristian Pop-Eleches and Cyrus Samii on external validity in natural experiments. This is important stuff, and they work it out in real examples.

Workshop on replication in economics

Jan Hoffler sends along this information: YSI workshop with Richard Ball, Johannes Pfeifer, Edward Miguel, Jan H. Höffler, and Thomas Herndon January 6 – 7, San Francisco, Mozilla Science Lab The workshop will take place right after the Annual Meeting of the American Social Sciences Associations, which includes the Annual Meeting of the American Economic […]

3 postdoc opportunities you can’t miss—here in our group at Columbia! Apply NOW, don’t miss out!

Hey, just once, the Buzzfeed-style hype is appropriate. We have 3 amazing postdoc opportunities here, and you need to apply NOW. Here’s the deal: we’re working on some amazing projects. You know about Stan and associated exciting projects in computational statistics. There’s the virtual database query, which is the way I like to describe our […]

It’s all about the denominator: Rajiv Sethi and Sendhil Mullainathan in a statistical debate on racial bias in police killings

Rajiv Sethi points me to this column by Sendhil Mullainathan, who writes: Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. Walter Scott. Michael Brown. Each killing raises a disturbing question: Would any of these people have been killed by police officers if they had been white? . . . There is ample statistical evidence of large and persistent racial […]

Flamebait: “Mathiness” in economics and political science

Political scientist Brian Silver points me to his post by economist Paul Romer, who writes: The style that I [Romer] am calling mathiness lets academic politics masquerade as science. Like mathematical theory, mathiness uses a mixture of words and symbols, but instead of making tight links, it leaves ample room for slippage between statements in […]

Annals of Spam

OK, explain to me this email: God day, How are you? My name is **. I came across your contact email at the University of Cyprus, Department of Economics. I seek for a private Economics teacher for my Daughter. I would like to know if you would be available for job. If you would be […]

Low-power pose

“The samples were collected in privacy, using passive drool procedures, and frozen immediately.” Anna Dreber sends along a paper, “Assessing the Robustness of Power Posing: No Effect on Hormones and Risk Tolerance in a Large Sample of Men and Women,” which she published in Psychological Science with coauthors Eva Ranehill, Magnus Johannesson, Susanne Leiberg, Sunhae […]

Amtrak is evil

Hmmmm, coverage for travel delay, that might not be so bad. This is Amtrak, after all. Let’s click through to the fine print: They’ll cover me for a departure delay of six or more hours, huh? Nice try in your attempt to scam me out of $8.50. It didn’t work this time, but, hey, why […]

Draw your own graph!

Bob writes: You must have seen this. I like it. But not enough to spend time blogging about it. I’ll try blogging it myself . . . OK, yeah, this interactive graph is great. It reminds me of “scatterplot charades” exercises we do in class from time to time. Somebody should write a program so […]


I don’t know if he has to say that this body type are actually better for a baseball player. Maybe it’s enough to just make the case that, Moneyball-style, players with this shape are underrated. P.S. I still don’t see why James chose in his book to summarize players by games played, home runs, RBI, […]

Emails I never finished reading

This one came in today (i.e., 2 months ago): Dear colleague, Can I ask you a quick question? I am seeing more and more research projects (many in the economic sciences) in which researchers use dummy-codes to account for non-independence due to higher-order units. So when the researchers have data from employees in 15 different […]

Vizzy vizzy vizzy viz

Nadia Hassan points me to this post by Matthew Yglesias, who writes: Here’s a very cool data visualization from that took me a minute to figure out because it’s a little bit unorthodox. The way it works is that it visualizes the entire world’s economic output as a circle. That circle is then subdivided […]

“Soylent 1.5” < black beans and yoghurt

Mark Palko quotes Justin Fox: On Monday, software engineer Rob Rhinehart published an account of his new life without alternating electrical current — which he has undertaken because generating that current “produces 32 percent of all greenhouse gases, more than any other economic sector.” Connection to the power grid isn’t all Rhinehart has given up. […]

Macartan Humphreys on the Worm Wars

My Columbia political science colleague shares “What Has Been Learned from the Deworming Replications: A Nonpartisan View”: Last month there was another battle in a dispute between economists and epidemiologists over the merits of mass deworming.1 In brief, economists claim there is clear evidence that cheap deworming interventions have large effects on welfare via increased […]


The following bit of irrelevance appeared on the stan-users mailing list: On Jun 11, 2015, at 11:29 AM, Joanna Caldwell wrote: Webinar: Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Logistic Regression . . . Registration Link: . . . Abstract: Logistic regression is a commonly used tool to analyze binary classification problems. However, logistic regression still […]

Annals of Spam

I received the following email with subject line, “Andrew, just finished ‘Foreign language skills …’”: Andrew, Just finished This leads to the silliness of considering foreign language skills as a purely positional good or as a method for selecting students, while forgetting the direct benefits of being able to communicate in various ways with […]