Category: Statistics

U.S. Still No. 1 in Income and Housing

The U.S. has been enduring its fair share of criticisms, with government entities going broke and facing significant cuts, the education system declining, high unemployment rates, and the political system being the ridiculed.  Recently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its 2013 “better life index”.  The survey covers 34 countries and ranks …

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Is College Worth It?— New Econometric Methods Provide Another Approach

In a previous post, Eric discussed a Brookings Institution policy brief that argued, among other things, that college education is a poor investment for some students. This assertion is based in large part on the negative return on investment (ROI) reported by Payscale.com for certain non-selective colleges. The problem with this sort of analysis, however, …

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Horrible commute? Buy stocks!

Being stuck in traffic causes plenty of anxiety. Should you add “I’m missing a bull market and need to buy stocks” to your list of traffic jam worries? Maybe. And maybe not. Traffic levels or, more specifically, traffic congestion could be an indicator of economic activity.  INRIX–a company that specializes in monitoring and reporting traffic …

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Americans Talk More On Their Phones While Driving, But They Also Drive More!

The Atlantic reports that “When It Comes to Talking on Phones While Driving, Americas Are the Worst” based on a recent release from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For its report, the CDC merged several surveys in which respondents in the US and Europe were asked to estimate how frequently they talked on …

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What’s More Popular—NCAA Basketball or Football?

We’re in the throes (sorry for the pun) of March Madness, arguably the most popular collegiate sports competition in the country. But just because the NCAA Football Championships don’t have a month dedicated to bracket-building and a catchy, alliterative name, can we conclude that basketball is the most popular NCAA sport? Measuring popularity is tricky, …

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Which Major League Sport is Googled the Most? And is that Changing?

One way to approximate each professional sport league’s relative popularity is to look at web search trends over time. Google Trends simplifies this task tremendously by reporting the relative frequency by which certain words or phrase are entered into Google’s search engine. The chart below plots the raw data from Google Trends for the five …

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Seventh Circuit bars class certification because of damages

The Seventh Circuit decided Espenscheid vs. DirectSat, Inc., (No. 12-1943, February 4, 2013), upholding the district court’s decision to not certify a class of employees containing wage and hour law violations. The ruling is notable as class certification was denied because the class members had different amounts of claimed work that had not been properly …

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Warning: This Country Contains Daylight Saving Time

A 1996 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is still being cited as evidence that lack of sleep that results from beginning daylight saving time increases traffic accidents. The Los Angeles Times referenced this study as part of a March 11, 2013 article that warned of the ill effects that result from …

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Should you feel threatened when you see a California license plate…or just annoyed?

I frequently hear complaints of bad California drivers grumbled by both Californians and non-Californians alike. The complaint seems to be increasingly common as the ongoing California exodus marches along, and the other 49 states see more and more California license plates crowding their freeways. Although you might feel annoyed by California license plates, data collected …

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Has California’s tax on the rich driven out the poor and middle class?

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal identifies a paradox: (i) “conservative lore” predicted rich people would leave California in response to a massive tax increase, yet, in fact, (ii) poor and middle class people have left instead. As evidence, the article summarizes the following about those who have left the state: 1. Their …

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