Category: Economics

Zak David expresses critical views of some published research in empirical quantitative finance

In honor of Ebenezer Scrooge, what better time than Christmas Eve to discuss the topic of liquidity in capital markets . . . A journalist asked, “I just wanted to know how bad the problem of data mining is in capital markets compared to other fields, and whether the reasons for false postives in finance […]

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Zak David expresses critical views of some published research in empirical quantitative finance

In honor of Ebenezer Scrooge, what better time than Christmas Eve to discuss the topic of liquidity in capital markets . . . A journalist asked, “I just wanted to know how bad the problem of data mining is in capital markets compared to other fields, and whether the reasons for false postives in finance […]

The post Zak David expresses critical views of some published research in empirical quantitative finance appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

“When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?”

Dean Baker points to this column, where Gregory Mankiw writes: With unemployment at 3.8 percent, its lowest level in many years, the labor market seems healthy. But that number hides a perplexing anomaly: The percentage of men who are neither working nor looking for work has risen substantially over the past several decades. . . […]

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“When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?”

Dean Baker points to this column, where Gregory Mankiw writes: With unemployment at 3.8 percent, its lowest level in many years, the labor market seems healthy. But that number hides a perplexing anomaly: The percentage of men who are neither working nor looking for work has risen substantially over the past several decades. . . […]

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Oh, I hate it when work is criticized (or, in this case, fails in attempted replications) and then the original researchers don’t even consider the possibility that maybe in their original work they were inadvertently just finding patterns in noise.

I have a sad story for you today. Jason Collins tells it: In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Dan Ariely describes an experiment to determine how much people cheat . . . The question then becomes how to reduce cheating. Ariely describes one idea: We took a group of 450 participants and split them into […]

The post Oh, I hate it when work is criticized (or, in this case, fails in attempted replications) and then the original researchers don’t even consider the possibility that maybe in their original work they were inadvertently just finding patterns in noise. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Oh, I hate it when work is criticized (or, in this case, fails in attempted replications) and then the original researchers don’t even consider the possibility that maybe in their original work they were inadvertently just finding patterns in noise.

I have a sad story for you today. Jason Collins tells it: In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Dan Ariely describes an experiment to determine how much people cheat . . . The question then becomes how to reduce cheating. Ariely describes one idea: We took a group of 450 participants and split them into […]

The post Oh, I hate it when work is criticized (or, in this case, fails in attempted replications) and then the original researchers don’t even consider the possibility that maybe in their original work they were inadvertently just finding patterns in noise. appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

“Economic predictions with big data” using partial pooling

Tom Daula points us to this post, “Economic Predictions with Big Data: The Illusion of Sparsity,” by Domenico Giannone, Michele Lenza, and Giorgio Primiceri, and writes: The paper wants to distinguish between variable selection (sparse models) and shrinkage/regularization (dense models) for forecasting with Big Data. “We then conduct Bayesian inference on these two crucial parameters—model […]

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“She also observed that results from smaller studies conducted by NGOs – often pilot studies – would often look promising. But when governments tried to implement scaled-up versions of those programs, their performance would drop considerably.”

Robert Wiblin writes: If we have a study on the impact of a social program in a particular place and time, how confident can we be that we’ll get a similar result if we study the same program again somewhere else? Dr Eva Vivalt . . . compiled a huge database of impact evaluations in […]

The post “She also observed that results from smaller studies conducted by NGOs – often pilot studies – would often look promising. But when governments tried to implement scaled-up versions of those programs, their performance would drop considerably.” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Watch out for naively (because implicitly based on flat-prior) Bayesian statements based on classical confidence intervals! (Comptroller of the Currency edition)

Laurent Belsie writes: An economist formerly with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wrote a paper on whether a move away from forced arbitration would cost credit card companies money. He found that the results are statistically insignificant at the 95 percent (and 90 percent) confidence level. But the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency […]

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“Statistical and Machine Learning forecasting methods: Concerns and ways forward”

Roy Mendelssohn points us to this paper by Spyros Makridakis, Evangelos Spiliotis, and Vassilios Assimakopoulos, which begins: Machine Learning (ML) methods have been proposed in the academic literature as alternatives to statistical ones for time series forecasting. Yet, scant evidence is available about their relative performance in terms of accuracy and computational requirements. The purpose […]

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“2010: What happened?” in light of 2018

Back in November 2010 I wrote an article that I still like, attempting to answer the question: “How could the voters have swung so much in two years? And, why didn’t Obama give Americans a better sense of his long-term economic plan in 2009, back when he still had a political mandate?” My focus was […]

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The Axios Turing test and the heat death of the journalistic universe

I was wasting some time on the internet and came across some Palko bait from the website Axios: “Elon Musk says Boring Company’s first tunnel to open in December,” with an awesome quote from this linked post: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unveiled a video of his Boring Company’s underground tunnel that will soon offer […]

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The AAA tranche of subprime science, revisited

Tom Daula points us to this article, “Mortgage-Backed Securities and the Financial Crisis of 2008: A Post Mortem,” by Juan Ospina and Harald Uhlig. Not our usual topic at this blog, but then there’s this bit on page 11: We break down the analysis by market segment defined by loan type (Prime, Alt-A, and Subprime). […]

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Understanding Chicago’s homicide spike; comparisons to other cities

Michael Masinter writes: As a longtime blog reader sufficiently wise not to post beyond my academic discipline, I hope you might take a look at what seems to me to be a highly controversial attempt to use regression analysis to blame the ACLU for the recent rise in homicides in Chicago. A summary appears here […]

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The Golden Rule of Nudge

Nudge unto others as you would have them nudge unto you. Do not recommend to apply incentives to others that you would not want for yourself. Background I was reading this article by William Davies about Britain’s Kafkaesque immigration policies. The background, roughly, is this: Various English politicians promised that the net flow of immigrants […]

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Rising test scores . . . reported as stagnant test scores

Joseph Delaney points to a post by Kevin Drum pointing to a post by Bob Somerby pointing to a magazine article by Natalie Wexler that reported on the latest NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) test results. In an article entitled, “Why American Students Haven’t Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years,” Wexler asks, “what’s […]

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A potential big problem with placebo tests in econometrics: they’re subject to the “difference between significant and non-significant is not itself statistically significant” issue

In econometrics, or applied economics, a “placebo test” is not a comparison of a drug to a sugar pill. Rather, it’s a sort of conceptual placebo, in which you repeat your analysis using a different dataset, or a different part of your dataset, where no intervention occurred. For example, if you’re performing some analysis studying […]

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A couple more papers on genetic diversity as an explanation for why Africa and remote Andean countries are so poor while Europe and North America are so wealthy

Back in 2013, I wrote a post regarding a controversial claim that high genetic diversity, or low genetic diversity, is bad for the economy: Two economics professors, Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor, wrote a paper, “The Out of Africa Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development,” that is scheduled to appear in the American […]

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