Category: Research and Polls

Sleeping Your Way to Riches: The Econometrics Edition

A recent paper by economist Dr. Nick Drydakis finds that more sexual activity is correlated with higher wages. The analysis is based on a survey of nearly 5,000 Greek adults, who self-report wages, frequency of sexual activity, and several additional characteristics. The paper uses a sophisticated econometric technique called a “two-stage regression” to make the …

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Beer Companies Are Losing Ground, Especially With Younger Consumers

What alcoholic beverage do people like to drink?  Well Gallup conducted its annual Consumption Habits poll and the verdict is in.  Jeffrey M. Jones summarizes the survey results on behalf of Gallup (see here). A majority of American’s drink alcoholic beverages, with 63% percent of survey respondents since 1939 historically indicating that they drink occasionally.  …

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The Baby Name “Market” is becoming more Fragmented

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), there have been over 91,000 different names given to babies since 1880 in the US. We can think of the process of naming children as a market activity. The “market” consists of parents (i.e. consumers) who select a name (i.e. product) from a wide assortment of options. For …

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What is the Most Unisex Name in US History?

Names like Grant or Greg are thoroughly associated with males, while Isabelle and Antoinette are clearly associated with females. Other names, however, are significantly more androgynous. If you were to receive an email from an unknown Sam, Morgan, or Jamie, you wouldn’t be sure of the sender’s gender. What makes a name clearly suitable for …

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Consumer Confidence Fueling Real Estate Market

Even with the recent beating homeowners took during the last real estate downturn, Americans still have confidence in the real estate market.  It appears that homeownership is still a goal for many Americans.  DSNews.com reported the results of the 2013 National Pulse Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Eight out of ten people …

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When Survey Results Change Drastically, You May Want to Check Your Work

When survey results change drastically from one period to the next the results are often chalked up to actual changes within the population that the survey was intended to measure. However, the possibility also exists that not all changes correspond to true changes in the underlying population. Pollsters rarely survey the same respondents from period …

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Stay Safe: Firework Injuries in the US

In honor of July 4th festivities, we report statistics related firework-related injuries in the United States. Based on data released by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), around 8,700 people were injured in 2012 by fireworks. The chart below shows that total injuries, which are counted using ER visits, has hovered around an average …

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Selection Bias Impairs Designated Driver Study

A recent paper published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (link here) concludes that approximately 40% of designated drivers (DD) had at least one alcoholic drink. More concerning is that 18% of DDs had a blood alcohol content (BAC) indicating impairment. These sobering results have generated significant media coverage, most of which …

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More Than 10% of US Adults Were Victims of Fraud in 2011

A recent report by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) entitled “Consumer Fraud in the United States, 2011: The Third FTC Survey” provides some interesting statistics on the prevalence of fraud.  The underlying consumer surveys revealed that during 2011 an estimated 10.8 % of U.S. adults (25.6 million people) were a victim of one or more of an estimated total …

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60% of Americans Prefer Saving Money—Interpret These Survey Results with Caution

According to Gallup’s annual “Economy and Personal Finance” survey for 2013, 60% of Americans prefer “saving” money while 37% prefer “spending” it. I reproduce Gallup’s chart below, which shows that respondents’ preferences for saving remain high since the economic downtown of 2008-2009. Even if we focus only respondents’ preferences rather than actual behavior, these results …

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