Posts Tagged ‘ economics ’

Oh, it’s so frustrating when you’re trying to help someone out, and then you realize you’re dealing with a snake.

February 1, 2015
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This happens sometimes. Someone comes to you with a request, maybe it’s a student or a potential student or just someone who has a question relating to your field of expertise. You’re in a good mood so you decide to help out, or maybe you feel it’s your duty to be helpful, or, who knows, […] The post Oh, it’s so frustrating when you’re trying to help someone out, and…

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Economics/sociology phrase book

January 31, 2015
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Mark Palko points me to this amusing document from Jeffrey Smith and Kermit Daniel, translating sociology jargon into economics and vice-versa. Lots of good jokes there. Along these lines, I’ve always been bothered by economists’ phrase “willingness to pay” which, in practice, often means “ability to pay.” And, of course, “earnings” which means “how much […] The post Economics/sociology phrase book appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

January 30, 2015
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I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft. The starting point is “behavioral economics,” also known as the “heuristics and biases” subfield of cognitive psychology. It’s associated with […] The post Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science appeared first on…

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Why you need a second pair of eyes

January 13, 2015
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Why you need a second pair of eyes

Reader Aaron K. submitted an infographic advertising the upcoming New England Auto Show to be held in Boston (link). As Aaron pointed out, there is plenty of elementary errors contained in one page. I don't think the designer did these...

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What’s misleading about the phrase, “Statistical significance is not the same as practical significance”

January 12, 2015
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You’ve heard it a million times, the idea is that if you have an estimate of .003 (on some reasonable scale in which 1 is a meaningful effect size) and a standard error of .001 then, yes, the estimate is statistically significant but it’s not practically significant. And, indeed, sometimes this sort of thing comes […] The post What’s misleading about the phrase, “Statistical significance is not the same as…

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Relaxed plagiarism standards as a way to keep the tuition dollars flowing from foreign students

January 4, 2015
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Interesting comment thread at Basbøll’s blog regarding the difficult position of college writing instructors when confronted with blatant student plagiarism. Randall Westgren writes: I believe the easiest part of the patchwriting [plagiarism] phenomenon to understand is why writing instructors are leading the charge. Professor Howard is caught between a herd of high-value (i.e. full-tuition and […] The post Relaxed plagiarism standards as a way to keep the tuition dollars flowing…

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A great start to the year

January 1, 2015
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A great start to the year

I'd like to start 2015 on a happy note. I enjoyed reading the piece by Steven Rattner in the New York Times called "The Year in Charts". (link) I particularly like the crisp headers, and unfussy language, placing the charts...

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It’s Too Hard to Publish Criticisms and Obtain Data for Replication

December 21, 2014
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Peter Swan writes: The problem you allude to in the above reference and in your other papers on ethics is a broad and serious one. I and my students have attempted to replicate a number of top articles in the major finance journals. Either they cannot be replicated due to missing data or what might […] The post It’s Too Hard to Publish Criticisms and Obtain Data for Replication appeared…

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

December 18, 2014
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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. […] The post Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it…

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“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.”

December 15, 2014
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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 […] The post “Now the company appears to have screwed up badly, and they’ve done…

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