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Archive of posts filed under the Economics category.

“The graph clearly shows that mammography adds virtually nothing to survival and if anything, decreases survival (and increases cost and provides unnecessary treatment)”

Paul Alper writes: You recently posted on graphs and how to convey information.  I don’t believe you have ever posted anything on this dynamite randomized clinical trial of 90,000 (!!) 40-59 year-old women over a 25-year period (also !!). The graphs below are figures 2, 3 and 4 respectively, of http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g366 The control was physical […]

Fooled by randomness

From 2006: Naseem Taleb‘s publisher sent me a copy of “Fooled by randomness: the hidden role of chance in life and the markets” to review. It’s an important topic, and the book is written in a charming style—I’ll try to respond in kind, with some miscellaneous comments. On the cover of the book is a […]

“More research from the lunatic fringe”

A linguist send me an email with the above title and a link to a paper, “The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets,” by M. Keith Chen, which begins: Languages differ widely in the ways they encode time. I test the hypothesis that languages that grammatically […]

An old discussion of food deserts

I happened to be reading an old comment thread from 2012 (follow the link from here) and came across this amusing exchange: Perhaps this is the paper Jonathan was talking about? Here’s more from the thread: Anyway, I don’t have anything to add right now, I just thought it was an interesting discussion.

Bizarre academic spam

I’ve been getting these sorts of emails every couple days lately: Respected Professor Gelman I am a senior undergraduate at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur). I am currently in the 8th Semester of my Master of Science (Integrated) in Mathematics and Scientific Computing program. I went through some of your previous work and […]

Greg Mankiw’s utility function

From 2010: Greg Mankiw writes (link from Tyler Cowen): Without any taxes, accepting that editor’s assignment would have yielded my children an extra $10,000. With taxes, it yields only $1,000. In effect, once the entire tax system is taken into account, my family’s marginal tax rate is about 90 percent. Is it any wonder that […]

Picking pennies in front of a steamroller: A parable comes to life

From 2011: Chapter 1 On Sunday we were over on 125 St so I stopped by the Jamaican beef patties place but they were closed. Jesus Taco was next door so I went there instead. What a mistake! I don’t know what Masanao and Yu-Sung could’ve been thinking. Anyway, then I had Jamaican beef patties […]

Teaching Bayesian applied statistics to graduate students in political science, sociology, public health, education, economics, . . .

One of the most satisfying experiences for an academic is when someone asks a question that you’ve already answered. This happened in the comments today. Daniel Gotthardt wrote: So for applied stat courses like for sociologists, political scientists, psychologists and maybe also for economics, what do we actually want to accomplish with our intro courses? […]

An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data

Stephen Jenkins wrote: I was thinking that you and your blog readers might be interested in “An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data” by Jonathan Schwabish, in the most recent Journal of Economic Perspectives (which is the American Economic Association’s main “outreach” journal in some ways). I replied: Ooh, I hate this so much! This seems […]

Econometrics, political science, epidemiology, etc.: Don’t model the probability of a discrete outcome, model the underlying continuous variable

This is an echo of yesterday’s post, Basketball Stats: Don’t model the probability of win, model the expected score differential. As with basketball, so with baseball: as the great Bill James wrote, if you want to predict a pitcher’s win-loss record, it’s better to use last year’s ERA than last year’s W-L. As with basketball […]