Posts Tagged ‘ economics ’

Is Rigor Contagious? (my talk next Monday 4:15pm at Columbia)

February 24, 2017
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Is Rigor Contagious? Much of the theory and practice of statistics and econometrics is characterized by a toxic mixture of rigor and sloppiness. Methods are justified based on seemingly pure principles that can’t survive reality. Examples of these principles include random sampling, unbiased estimation, hypothesis testing, Bayesian inference, and causal identification. Examples of uncomfortable reality […] The post Is Rigor Contagious? (my talk next Monday 4:15pm at Columbia) appeared first…

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Division of labor and a Pizzagate solution

February 23, 2017
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Division of labor and a Pizzagate solution

I firmly believe that the general principles of social science can improve our understanding of the world. Today I want to talk about two principles—division of labor from economics, and roles from sociology—and their relevance to the Pizzagate scandal involving Brian Wansink, the Cornell University business school professor and self-described “world-renowned eating behavior expert for […] The post Division of labor and a Pizzagate solution appeared first on Statistical Modeling,…

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Clay pigeon

February 22, 2017
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Sam Harper writes: Not that you are collecting these kinds of things, but I wanted to point to (yet) another benefit of the American Economic Association’s requirement of including replication datasets (unless there are confidentiality constraints) and code in order to publish in most of their journals—certainly for the top-tier ones like Am Econ Review: […] The post Clay pigeon appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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Looking for rigor in all the wrong places (my talk this Thursday in the Columbia economics department)

February 21, 2017
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Looking for rigor in all the wrong places (my talk this Thursday in the Columbia economics department)

Looking for Rigor in All the Wrong Places What do the following ideas and practices have in common: unbiased estimation, statistical significance, insistence on random sampling, and avoidance of prior information? All have been embraced as ways of enforcing rigor but all have backfired and led to sloppy analyses and erroneous inferences. We discuss these […] The post Looking for rigor in all the wrong places (my talk this Thursday…

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“Luckily, medicine is a practice that ignores the requirements of science in favor of patient care.”

February 19, 2017
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“Luckily, medicine is a practice that ignores the requirements of science in favor of patient care.”

Javier Benitez writes: This is a paragraph from Kathryn Montgomery’s book, How Doctors Think: If medicine were practiced as if it were a science, even a probabilistic science, my daughter’s breast cancer might never have been diagnosed in time. At 28, she was quite literally off the charts, far too young, an unlikely patient who […] The post “Luckily, medicine is a practice that ignores the requirements of science in…

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Cry of Alarm

February 16, 2017
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Cry of Alarm

Stan Liebowitz writes: Is it possible to respond to a paper that you are not allowed to discuss? The question above relates to some unusual behavior from a journal editor. As background, I [Liebowitz] have been engaged in a long running dispute regarding the analysis contained in an influential paper published in one of the […] The post Cry of Alarm appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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Identifying Neighborhood Effects

February 14, 2017
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Identifying Neighborhood Effects

Dionissi Aliprantis writes: I have just published a paper (online here) on what we can learn about neighborhood effects from the results of the Moving to Opportunity housing mobility experiment. I wanted to suggest the paper (and/or the experiment more broadly) as a topic for your blog, as I am hoping the paper can start […] The post Identifying Neighborhood Effects appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social…

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The “What does not kill my statistical significance makes it stronger” fallacy

February 6, 2017
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The “What does not kill my statistical significance makes it stronger” fallacy

As anyone who’s designed a study and gathered data can tell you, getting statistical significance is difficult. Lots of our best ideas don’t pan out, and even if a hypothesis seems to be supported by the data, the magic “p less than .05” can be elusive. And we also know that noisy data and small […] The post The “What does not kill my statistical significance makes it stronger” fallacy…

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Research connects overpublication during national sporting events to science-journalism problems

February 5, 2017
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Research connects overpublication during national sporting events to science-journalism problems

Ivan Oransky pointed me to a delightful science-based press release, “One’s ability to make money develops before birth”: Researchers from the Higher School of Economics have shown how the level of perinatal testosterone, the sex hormone, impacts a person’s earnings in life. Prior research confirms that many skills and successes are linked to the widely […] The post Research connects overpublication during national sporting events to science-journalism problems appeared first…

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When do protests affect policy?

February 1, 2017
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When do protests affect policy?

Gur Huberman writes that he’s been wondering for many years about this question: One function of protests is to vent out the protesters’ emotions. When do protests affect policy? In dictatorships there are clear examples of protests affecting reality, e.g., in Eastern Europe in 1989. It’s harder to find such clear examples in democracies. And […] The post When do protests affect policy? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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