Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This n That

Russian Debt And The Euro

Education Is All in Your Mind

Mostly Harmless Econometrics
I just read the new book, "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," by Joshua Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke. It's an excellent book and, I think, well worth your $35. I recommend that all of you buy it.

Adjustments downward

The reshaping of the stimulus: public choice thoughts

Enlightened research, fuelled by the dark stuff;
From the outset, Gosset’s focus was practical – as the economist and historian Steve Ziliak has discovered through his work in the Guinness archives. To produce beer to a high standard on an industrial scale, Gosset needed to sample and experiment with hops, malt and barley. But experiments are expensive and Gosset developed his small-sample methods because he wanted to understand how many experiments were necessary to be confident of his results. That was a clear trade-off: how much confidence is “enough” depends on the costs of further research and the benefits of extra precision.

Ziliak and his co-author Deirdre McCloskey argue in a recent book, The Cult of Statistical Significance, that most academic disciplines have forgotten this trade-off. Instead, they use an artificial standard propagated not by Gosset but by the famous statistician and mathematical geneticist Ronald Fisher, who took Gosset’s calculations and turned them to his own devices. Fisher proposed ignoring any finding that failed to reach the 95 per cent confidence level. In other words, until the odds against a pattern having emerged by chance are 19 to 1 against, disregard the pattern completely.

The paradox of thrift

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