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Tag Archives: statistics

That study about the health risks of red meat: An excellent news report — Andrew Gelman

Most interesting for the analysis of the process relative to statistical reasoning and news reporting, which happens to be the bedrock of economics and the narratives based on conventional economics. Short and not wonkish.Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social ScienceThat study about the health risks of red meat: An excellent news reportAndrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action The animation above comes from a cool page of causal inference animations by Nick Huntington-Klein (h/t Alex Tabarrok), which go through, step-by-step with scatterplots, how different methods work. Alex was one of many who offered helpful tips for getting through undergrad econometrics. Call for papers for the Y-Rise conference Dec 15-21 on the science of scaling promising interventions. They have research networks looking at...

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It’s not just p=0.048 vs. p=0.052 — Andrew Gelman

Numbers may be eternal and unchanging, but they are not gods. Andrew Gelman observes that we also have to step back and use our common sense regarding what the numbers actually say, instead of drawing arbitrary lines based on self-imposed criteria like "significance" and then take them as "messages from the gods." It doesn't work like that. Formalism only goes so far. So. Yes, it seems goofy to draw a bright line between p = 0.048 and p = 0.052. But it’s also goofy to draw a bright line...

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Gigerenzer: “The Bias Bias in Behavioral Economics,” including discussion of political implications — Andrew Gelman

Gerd Gigerenzer takes aim at Daniel Kahneman, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein for being uncritical and going too far. While not endorsing rational choice theory, he stresses that the truth lies between the extremes of rationality and irrationality and claims behavioral economics tends to over emphasize irrationality consequent on cognitive-effective bias. It's neither reason or all bias, either all or mostly, but a combination of rationality and irrationality.Statistical Modeling, Causal...

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My Journey from Theory to Reality — Asad Zaman

Over the twenty years that I have been pursuing an Islamic approach — focusing on the production of USEFUL knowledge, I have managed to heal all three of these divides. This happens naturally, when you focus on solution of real world problems. You automatically need to combine information coming from many different specialization areas. You need to use reasoning and also intuition. You also need to use both theory and its applications to the real world experiences. This leads to substantial...

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Timothy Taylor — Pareidolia: When Correlations are Truly Meaningless

"Pareidolia" refers to the common human practice of looking at random outcomes but trying to impose patterns on them. For example, we all know in the logical part of our brain that there are a roughly a kajillion different variables in the world, and so if we look through the possibilities, we will will have a 100% chance of finding some variables that are highly correlated with each other. These correlations will be a matter of pure chance, and they carry no meaning. But when my own brain,...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action A wonderful back and forth between David Evans and DFID Deputy Chief Economist Nick Lea, ostensibly about regressions, but to me resonated more broadly on methods. Papers seem to have to need the magical pixie dust of a regression to get accepted for publication, but is it the case that every problem in development is a nail waiting for a regression hammer? Lea wonders if methods are constraining the kinds of questions economists...

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IPA’s weekly links

Need education outcomes explained in a more intuitive way? Better call Dave Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action A lovely tribute to Dave Evans, who’s been a boon to the field, and a prolific producer of public goods, from David McKenzie and his Development Impact Blog colleaguesI ran a quick search, and I’ve cited him about 50 times in my links It’s fitting that Dave’s final Dev Impact post is in one of his specialities, making research more understandable to...

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Andrew Gelman — Our hypotheses are not just falsifiable; they’re actually false.

On the practical side of philosophy of science. Adding nuance to Karl Popper on falsification. Further argument for the view that theories are useful but not "true." This may seem to contradict the realist view that theories are general descriptions of causal relationships. But I don't think that this is what is is implied. Rather, useful theories can be viewed as fitting the data because they reveal underlying structures that are not observed directly but only indirectly.  There is a...

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