Category Archive: Statistics

Oct 31

More Tricks Than Treats This Halloween

Happy Halloween to all my spooked blog readers interested in the current state of the “Halloween economy”. Last year’s discussion can be found here. This year the ghost of Halloween past has managed to spook some shoppers away. The scary tale of the US economy, among many other culprits, may be what is causing Halloween …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/10/more-tricks-than-treats-this-halloween/

Oct 03

According to a Scrawny Sample, Fatter Applicants are Less Likely to Get into Graduate School

A recently published article on “Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions” (gated link here) inadvertently highlights the dangers of drawing global conclusions based on inappropriate samples. Based on responses from 97 applicants to one university’s psychology department, the study asserts that graduate applicants with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) tend to receive significantly fewer …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/10/according-to-a-scrawny-sample-fatter-applicants-are-less-likely-to-get-into-graduate-school/

Oct 02

It costs $241,080 to raise a child and other reasons why averages can be completely uninformative

A popular news service reported that it costs $241,080 to raise a child and then remarked, “the cost of raising a child is climbing at a rate that many families can’t keep up with.” The news agency cites falling wages and lower employment rates as support for this struggle to keep up. A host of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/10/it-costs-241080-to-raise-a-child-and-other-reasons-why-averages-can-be-completely-uninformative/

Sep 26

Using Fatalities to Predict Humanitarian Aid

Last Tuesday, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 shook with such violence that it created a new island off the coast of Pakistan, as well as tragically killing at least 515 people and affecting at least 300,000 more. The international community has attempted to provide relief and humanitarian assistance. A 2013 social science paper indicates that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/09/using-fatalities-to-predict-humanitarian-aid/

Sep 09

Do “Presidential Names” Become More Popular?

An event study captures the impact of a certain event(s) on a marketplace. This technique is most commonly used in the context of the stock market, when analysts study the effects of certain events on stock prices. Analysts look at share prices prior to the event of interest (e.g. a stock split, CEO resignation, etc.) …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/09/which-presidential-name-is-most-popular/

Sep 05

CA Association of Realtors Try to Sell More Homes by Suggesting that Correlation = Causation

The California Association of Realtors (“CAR”) unsurprisingly wants people like you and me to buy homes. One of CAR’s newest selling tactics is an infographic proclaiming that “Owning a Home Benefits Your Children.” CAR asserts that children living with home-owning parents are much more likely to perform well in school, complete a college degree, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/09/ca-association-of-realtors-try-to-sell-more-homes-by-suggesting-that-correlation-causation/

Aug 21

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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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/08/sleeping-your-way-to-riches-the-econometrics-edition/

Aug 05

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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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/08/what-is-the-most-unisex-name-in-us-history/

Jun 24

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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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/06/selection-bias-intoxicates-designated-driver-study/

Jun 21

Distribution of world’s 12 million millionaires still favors U.S.

The Economist’s chart of the day shows millionaire population counts for the twelve countries that boast the most millionaires (measured in USD). The United States dominates this comparison, with 3.4 million millionaires, nearly twice the number of millionaires in the second place country, Japan. Of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), which many …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/06/distribution-of-worlds-12-million-millionaires/

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