dunnettreader + statistics   46

Politics and numbers | The Enlightened Economist
I’m thoroughly enjoying William Deringer’s Calculated Values: Finance, Politics and the Quantitative Age – almost finished. The book asks, why from the early…
reviews  17thC  18thC  19thC  economic_history  economic_culture  economic_models  statistics  rhetoric-political  political_press  parties  partisanship  books  review  kindle-available  from instapaper
march 2018 by dunnettreader
(URL is a pff) Greg Clark & Neil Cummins - Surnames and Social Mobility, Human Nature (2015)
Surnames and Social Mobility
Gregory Clark1 Neil Cummins2
To what extent do parental characteristics explain child social outcomes? Typically, parent-child correlations in socioeconomic measures are in the range 0.2-0.6. Surname evidence suggests, however, that the intergenerational correlation of overall status is much higher. This paper shows, using educational status in England 1170-2012 as an example, that the true underlying correlation of social status is in the range 0.75-0.85. Social status is more strongly inherited even than height. This correlation is constant over centuries, suggesting an underlying social physics surprisingly immune to government intervention. Social mobility in England in 2012 is little greater than in pre-industrial times. Surname evidence in other countries suggests similarly slow underlying mobility rates.
KEYWORDS: Social Mobility, intergenerational correlation, status inheritance
Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
status  Europe-Early_Modern  article  downloaded  surnames  statistics  17thC  British_history  16thC  mobility  Industrial_Revolution  19thC  inheritance  demography  21stC  20thC  18thC  medieval_history 
february 2017 by dunnettreader
(URL is pdf) Clark, Cummins, Hao & Vidal - Surnames: a New Source for the History of Social Mobility (2015)
Surnames: a New Source for the History of Social Mobility, Explorations in Economic History (2015)
Gregory Clark, Neil Cummins, Yu Hao, Dan Diaz Vidal
This paper explains how surname distributions can be used as a way to measure rates of social mobility in contemporary and historical societies. This allows for estimates of social mobility rates for any population for which we know just two facts: the distribution of surnames overall, and the distribution of surnames among some elite or underclass. Such information exists, for example, for England back to 1300, and for Sweden back to 1700. However surname distributions reveal a different, more fundamental type of mobility than that conventionally estimated. Thus surname estimates also allow for measuring a different aspect of social mobility, the underlying average social status of families, but the aspect that matters for mobility of social groups, and for families across multiple generations.
KEYWORDS: Social Mobility, intergenerational correlation, status inheritance
Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
demography  elites  ethnic_groups  social_history  inequality  article  statistics  surnames  mobility  downloaded 
february 2017 by dunnettreader
(Url is a pdf) N. Cummins, M. Kelly & C. O'Grada - Living Standards and Plague in London, 1560–1665
Living Standards and Plague in London, 1560–1665.
Neil Cummins, Morgan Kelly, and Cormac Ó Gráda∗ 2015 forthcoming Economic History Review
Abstract -- We use records of 870,000 burials and 610,000 baptisms to recon- struct the spatial and temporal patterns of birth and death in London from 1560 to 1665, a period dominated by outbreaks of plague. The plagues of 1563, 1603, 1625, and 1665 appear of roughly equal mag- nitude, with deaths running at five to six times their usual rate, but the impact on wealthier central parishes falls markedly through time. Tracking the weekly spread of plague before 1665 we find a consis- tent pattern of elevated mortality spreading from the same two poor northern suburbs. Looking at the seasonal pattern of mortality, we find that the characteristic autumn spike associated with plague con- tinued in central parishes until the early 1700s, and in the poorer surrounding parishes until around 1730. Given that the symptoms of plague and typhus are frequently indistinguishable, claims that plague suddenly vanished from London after 1665 should be treated with caution. In contrast to the conventional view of London as an undif- ferentiated demographic sink we find that natural increase improved as smaller plagues disappeared after the 1580s, and that wealthier... Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
17thC  Black_Death  social_history  statistics  birth_rates  Mathusian_checks  living_standards  economic_history  medicine  political_arithmetick  death_rates  18thC  British_history  plague  London  demography  article  fertility  downloaded  16thC  spatial  segregation 
february 2017 by dunnettreader
Antonella Alimento - Beyond the Treaty of Utrecht: Véron de Forbonnais's French Translation of the British Merchant (1753): History of European Ideas: Vol 40, No 8
Pages 1044-1066 | Published online: 06 Nov 2014
This study focuses on the cultural and political context from which stemmed the French translation of the British Merchant. The paratextual and macrostructural interventions that characterised Le négotiant anglois clearly demonstrate that the translator, Véron de Forbonnais, used his work to set out his own epistemological method and his way of looking at inter-state relations. With the book, Forbonnais had distanced himself from Gournay by rejecting the idea that in order for France to prosper in a situation of international competition the government needed to adopt a muscular strategy that included the adoption of a navigation act modelled on the one enacted by Britain in 1660. At the same time, Forbonnais warned French decision-makers that signing commercial treaties with the maritime powers might also be prejudicial to national economic interests. Forbonnais supplied qualified French readers not only with an annotated edition of the British Merchant but also with a translation of Davenant's Of the Use of Political Arithmetick. In so doing, he proposed to his audience a type of governance based on a competent use of statistics. In conclusion, I will argue that in Le négotiant anglois Forbonnais anticipated the key political and economical tenets of his project of ‘monarchie commerçante’, which he later set out in the Principes et observations æconomiques (1767) in order to counter the rise of the epistemology and plans for a ‘royaume agricole’ put forward by the physiocratic movement.
Keywords: British Merchant, Gournay, Davenant, navigation act, treaties of commerce, ‘balance du commerce’
article  paywall  18thC  intellectual_history  political_economy  international_political_economy  France  British_foreign_policy  economic_theory  economic_policy  Physiocrats  commerce  mercantilism  competition-interstate  Navigation_Acts  trade-agreements  trade-policy  Gournay  Davenant  translation  reception_history  French_government  enlightened_absolutism  balance_of_power  statistics  government-data 
december 2016 by dunnettreader
Noah Smith - The Illusion of Lagging Productivity | Bloomberg View - August 2016
Re Dietrich Vollrath's recent posts on how part of it may be statistical illusion from industry collecting rents due to increased industry concentration, IP etc., which makes the stats on production look too capital-heavy.
economic_growth  US_economy  21stC  2010s  productivity  rents  rent-seeking  competition  statistics  from instapaper
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Andrew Gelman - The problems with p-values are not just with p-values: My comments on the recent ASA statement - March 2016
His blog Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science -- The American Statistical Association just released a committee report on the use of p-values. I was one of the members of the committee but I did not write the…
Instapaper  quantitative_methods  statistics  social_sciences  uncertainty  probability  methodology-quantitative  scientific_culture  research  publishing-academic  pharma  causation  evidence  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Andrew Gelman - More on replication crisis - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
The replication crisis in social psychology (and science more generally) will not be solved by better statistics or by preregistered replications. It can only…
Instapaper  scientific_method  social_psychology  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  statistics  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Noah Smith - Economics Has a Math Problem - Bloomberg View - September 2015
A lot of people complain about the math in economics. Economists tend to quietly dismiss such complaints as the sour-grapes protests of literary types who lack…
Instapaper  economic_theory  economic_models  mathematization  statistics  big_data  machine_learning  from instapaper
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Financial Market Trends - OECD Journal - Home page | OECD
‌The articles in Financial Market Trends focus on trends and prospects in the international and major domestic financial markets and structural issues and developments in financial markets and the financial sector. This includes financial market regulation, bond markets and public debt management, insurance and private pensions, as well as financial statistics. -- links to the contents of each issue of the journal
journal  website  paper  financial_system  global_economy  global_system  financial_regulation  financial_crisis  capital_markets  risk-systemic  international_finance  banking  NBFI  insurance  markets-structure  risk_assessment  risk_management  sovereign_debt  corporate_finance  corporate_governance  institutional_investors  pensions  consumer_protection  equity-corporate  equity_markets  debt  debt-overhang  leverage  capital_flows  capital_adequacy  financial_economics  financial_innovation  financial_system-government_back-stop  bailouts  too-big-to-fail  cross-border  regulation-harmonization  regulation-costs  statistics 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Montfort Mlachila, René Tapsoba, and Sampawende Tapsoba - A Quest for Quality [of economic growth] -- Finance & Development, June 2015, Vol. 52, No. 2
Despite consensus in the economics profession that growth alone does not lead to better social outcomes (Ianchovichina and Gable, 2012), quality growth still lacks a rigorous definition or formal quantification. In a recent paper, we develop a quality of growth index (QGI) that captures both the intrinsic nature of growth and its social dimension. Our premise is that not all growth produces favorable social outcomes. How growth is generated is critical to its sustainability and ability to create decent jobs, enhance living standards, and reduce poverty. We aim in our design of the QGI to capture these multidimensional features of growth by focusing on its very nature and desired social outcomes. -- in F&D issue downloaded as pdf to Note
article  development  economic_growth  political_economy  LDCs  emerging_markets  GDP  GDP-alternatives  inequality  participation-economic  inclusion  marginalized_groups  access_to_services  access_to_finance  SMEs  micro-enterprises  Innovation  innovation-government_policy  rent-seeking  informal_sectors  living_standards  poverty  health_care  education  sustainability  unemployment  common_good  statistics  economic_policy  economic_sociology  economic_reform  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Marshall Steinbaum - Mis-measuring US income inequality at the very top - Washington Center for Equitable Growth - June 15, 2015
A recent working paper by David Price and Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University, Fatih Guvenen of the University of Minnesota, and Jae Song of the Social Security Administration argues that nearly the entire rise in earnings inequality in the U.S. labor market between 1980 and 2012 is accounted for by rising inequality in average wages across firms. In other words, it isn’t that well-paid chief executives are pulling away from their employees, but rather that the salaries at some firms are pulling away from their competitors—even within the same industry. The working paper, “Firming Up Inequality,” got a lot of attention because it conflicts with research that shows rising inequality is due in large part to skyrocketing compensation by “supermanagers,” (...) My new research note, however, shows that the sampling procedure in “Firming Up Inequality” is biased in two distinct ways. Together, these two statistical biases reduce the scale of rising earnings inequality and hence minimize the very phenomenon the paper seeks to investigate. Importantly, both sources of bias get worse the more inequality grows, which is exactly what happened over the period studied in the paper.
inequality  executive_compensation  statistics 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Ravi Balakrishnan and Juan Solé - Close But Not There Yet: Getting to Full Employment in the United States | IMFdirect May 2015
By Ravi Balakrishnan and Juan Solé (Version in Español) Last month’s report on U.S. jobs was disappointing, with far fewer jobs than expected added in March. A… Nice roundup of all the bits of data that show a lot more slack than headline unemployment rate suggests
US_economy  Labor_markets  unemployment  data  statistics  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Alan B. Krueger - The great utility of the Great Gatsby Curve | Brookings May 2015
Every so often an academic finding gets into the political bloodstream. A leading example is "The Great Gatsby Curve," describing an inverse relationship between income inequality and intergenerational mobility. Born in 2011, the Curve has attracted plaudits and opprobrium in almost equal measure. Over the next couple of weeks, Social Mobility Memos is airing opinions from both sides of the argument, starting today with Prof Alan Krueger, the man who made the Curve famous. -- Building on the work of Miles Corak, Anders Björklund, Markus Jantti, and others, I proposed the “Great Gatsby Curve” in a speech in January 2012. The idea is straightforward: greater income inequality in one generation amplifies the consequences of having rich or poor parents for the economic status of the next generation.
The curve is predicted by economic theory…
US_economy  inequality  inheritance  inequality-opportunity  inequality-wealth  families  economic_sociology  economic_theory  economic_models  microeconomics  mobility  statistics  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Niccolò Tempini -- Book Review: “Raw Data” is an Oxymoron, edited by Lisa Gitelman | LSE Review of Books
“Raw Data” is an Oxymoron. Lisa Gitelman (ed.). MIT Press. March 2013. -- We live in the era of Big Data, with storage and transmission capacity measured not just in terabytes but in petabytes. Data collection is constant and even insidious, with every click and every “like” stored somewhere for something. This edited collection seeks to remind us that data is anything but “raw”, that we shouldn’t think of data as a natural resource but as a cultural one that needs to be generated, protected, and interpreted. Niccolò Tempini finds that all of the matters discussed in this book are as inherently political as they are urgent. -- the book review is excellent -- helpful sketch of each contribution, many very interesting -- starting with etymology of "data", which seems initially used in rhetoric, as the "given" supplied by the orator from which persuasive argument would be built -- review copied to Pocket
books  kindle-available  reviews  epistemology-social  statistics  data  databases  sociology_of_knowledge  intellectual_history  constructivism  digital_humanities  history_of_science  economic_history  evidence  media  cultural_history  print_culture  texts  rhetoric  technology  Pocket 
march 2015 by dunnettreader
Morgan Kelly, Cormac Ó Gráda - The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age | VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal 28 March 2015
The Little Ice Age is generally seen as a major event in European history. Analysing a variety of recent weather reconstructions, this column finds that European weather appears constant from the Middle Ages until 1900, and that events like the freezing of the Thames and the disappearance of English vineyards have simpler explanations than changing climate. It appears instead that the European Little Ice Age is a statistical artefact, where the standard climatological practice of smoothing what turn out to be white noise data prior to analysis gives the spurious appearance of irregular oscillation – a Slutsky Effect.
climate  statistics  Europe-Early_Modern  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC 
march 2015 by dunnettreader
Seamus Bradley Imprecise Probabilities (Dec 2014) | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
It has been argued that imprecise probabilities are a natural and intuitive way of overcoming some of the issues with orthodox precise probabilities. Models of this type have a long pedigree, and interest in such models has been growing in recent years. This article introduces the theory of imprecise probabilities, discusses the motivations for their use and their possible advantages over the standard precise model. It then discusses some philosophical issues raised by this model. There is also a historical appendix which provides an overview of some important thinkers who appear sympathetic to imprecise probabilities. *-* Related Entries -- belief, formal representations of | epistemic utility arguments for probabilism | epistemology: Bayesian | probability, interpretations of | rational choice, normative: expected utility | statistics, philosophy of | vagueness
epistemology  philosophy_of_science  technology  probability  risk  uncertainty  rational_choice  rationality-economics  rationality  rationality-bounded  statistics  Bayesian  linguistics  causation  causation-social  causation-evolutionary  complexity  complex_adaptive_systems  utility  behavioral_economics  behavioralism  neuroscience  vagueness 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
John Irons and Isaac Shapiro - Report: Regulation, employment, and the economy: Fears of job loss are overblown | Economic Policy Institute - April 2011
After the first midterms debacle -- . In the first months since the new Congress convened, the House has held dozens of hearings designed to elicit criticisms of regulations, introduced legislation that would dramatically alter the regulatory process by requiring congressional approval of all major regulations, and passed a spending bill that would slash the funding levels of regulatory agencies and restrict their ability to enact rules covering areas such as greenhouse gas emissions. (..) opponents of regulation argue that agency rules are damaging to the economy in general and job generation in particular. Some say specific regulations will destroy millions of jobs and cite a study (critiqued later in this paper) purporting to show that regulations cost $1.75 trillion per year. Regulations are frequently discussed only in the context of their threat to job creation, while their role in protecting lives, public health, and the environment is ignored. This report reviews whether the evidence backs the perspective of regulatory opponents. The first section looks broadly at the effects of regulations, whether they play a useful role in the economy, and whether their overall benefits outweigh their overall costs. The second section assesses the theory and evidence for the assertion that regulations undermine jobs and the economy. The last section examines the kinds of studies that are discussed when regulations are being formulated; these studies, often cited in debates and therefore of great importance, tend to be prospective
estimates of the effects of proposed regulations. -- downloaded pdf to Note
US_economy  US_politics  Obama_administration  Congress  GOP  deregulation  cost-benefit  unemployment  business_influence  public_policy  public_goods  public_health  environment  climate  financial_regulation  US_government  regulation  regulation-environment  regulation-costs  common_good  commons  economic_sociology  economic_theory  economic_culture  statistics  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Fiscal federalism network - OECD
The OECD Network on Fiscal Relations across Levels of Government provides analysis and statistical underpinnings on the relationship between central and subcentral government, and its impact on efficiency, equity and macroeconomic stability. -- Main page for reports, white papers, guides, articles, links to OECD databases
OECD  website  OECD_economies  taxes  tax_collection  fiscal_policy  state_government  cities  federalism  sovereign_debt  public_finance  statistics  databases  report  links  accountability  reform-economic  reform-finance  reform-legal  comparative_economics  centralization  central_government  center-periphery  local_government  decentralization 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Michael T. Kiley - An Evaluation of the Inflationary Pressure Associated with Short- and Long-term Unemployment - FEDS 2014-28 | Federal Reserve Board
Abstract: In the years following 2009, long-term unemployment has been very elevated while inflation has fallen only moderately, raising the question of whether the long-term unemployed exert less downward pressure on prices than the short-term unemployed, perhaps because such potential workers are disconnected from the labor market. However, empirical evidence is mixed. This analysis demonstrates that the typical approach, using national data, is incapable of discriminating the inflationary pressure exerted by short and long-term unemployment because the series are highly correlated, making inference difficult given the short-span of data used in Phillips-curve estimation. However, application of more data, through the use of regional variation, can discriminate the independent influences of short-and long-term unemployment on price inflation. We present a model illustrating these issues and apply the model to data for U.S. metropolitan regions. We find that that short- and long-term unemployment exert equal downward pressure on price inflation. -- Keywords: Short-term unemployment, phillips curve -- didn't download
US_economy  Great_Recession  unemployment  inflation  prices  wages  macroeconomics  economic_models  statistics  Phillips_curve 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Ansar, Flyvbjerg, Budzier, Lunn - Should We Build More Large Dams? The Actual Costs of Hydropower Megaproject Development (Energy Policy, March 2014, pp.1-14.) :: SSRN
Atif Ansar - University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government -- Bent Flyvbjerg - University of Oxford - Said Business School -- Alexander Budzier - University of Oxford - Saïd Business School.-- Daniel Lunn - University of Oxford - Department of Statistics *--* A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. We investigate this question with the “outside view” or “reference class forecasting” based on literature on decision-making under uncertainty in psychology. We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams — excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. Using the largest and most reliable reference data of its kind and multilevel statistical techniques applied to large dams for the first time, we were successful in fitting parsimonious models to predict cost and schedule overruns. The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return unless suitable risk management measures outlined in this paper can be affordably provided. Policymakers, particularly in developing countries, are advised to prefer agile energy alternatives that can be built over shorter time horizons to energy megaprojects. - Number of Pages in PDF File: 14 - Keywords: Large hydropower dams, Schedule & cost estimates, Cost benefit forecasting, Reference class forecasting, Outside -- didn't download
article  SSRN  development  energy  IFIs  business-and-politics  statistics  social_sciences  methodology-quantitative  decision_theory  international_finance  institutional_economics  business-forecasts 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Nancy Cartwright - Evidence Where Rigor Matters.pdf
LSE collection of her work, most from her involvement with Templeton project "God's Law, Nature's Laws, Man's Laws" She had a director role and focused on "man" area. She's especially interested in t...
philosophy_of_science  evidence  epistemology  RCTs  statistics  probability  social_sciences  methodology  downloaded  EF-add  from notes
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Talking Manufacturing and Its Wage Premium | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy
–Manufacturing has the potential to grow beyond its current size and employ more people in decent jobs, but we’ve got to get the policy right. –As per Susan Houseman’s work (link), manufacturing productivity is significantly overstated for a number of reasons , implying that the agriculture analogy is incorrect. For one, it’s largely driven by one relatively small sub-sector: the production of computers and electronic products. –Second, Houseman points to two problems with the way we count inputs that also biases up estimates of manufacturing productivity. First, we’re undercounting the quantity of imported intermediate inputs and thus overcounting value added. Second, when manufacturers employ workers from outside the sector, say from Manpower-type staffing services, that biases down measured sectoral labor inputs and further biases up value added. –Even in the highly productive computer sector, productivity-induced job loss is not obvious. Houseman again: “Productivity growth also may reflect improvements to product design that result from research and development activities. ... The reason employment in electronic computer manufacturing has declined by 41 percent since 2000…is not because the assembly process has been automated but because most computer assembly has moved to Asia.” –Despite rumors to the contrary, manufacturing still pays better than other jobs for workers with similar characteristics.
US_economy  productivity  manufacturing  wages  off-shoring  technology  tech  R&D  unemployment  statistics  links  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
JW Mason - The Slack Wire: Further Thoughts on Anti-Financialization - May 2014
Together, these fictional transactions now make up 20 percent of GDP, and fully a third of apparent household consumption. Of course, that might change. The decline of homeownership and the creation of a rental market for single-family homes may turn the fiction of a housing sector of tenants and profit-seeking landlords into a reality. One result of Obamacare -- intended or otherwise -- will be to replace collective purchases of health insurance by employers with individual purchases by households. Maybe the Kochs and Mark Zuckerberg will join forces and succeed in privatizing the schools. But none of that has happened yet. What's striking to me is how many critics of contemporary capitalism -- including Cynamon and Fazzari themselves -- have accepted the myth of rising household consumption, without realizing there's no such thing. The post 1980s rise in consumption is a statistical artifact of the ideology of capitalism -- a way of pretending that a world of collective production and consumption is a world of private market exchange. -- The underlying issue from my point of view is that we have an economic discourse that collapses capitalism, finance, markets, and productive activity into a single frame. But these are all different things, with their own distinct logics. We have to recognize that financial relations evolve independently of relations of production and consumption. Changes in assets and debt don't have to reflect anything happening in the "real" economy.
economic_history  US_economy  20thC  consumers  statistics  debt  capitalism  economic_theory  financial_economics  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
The Slack Wire: The Nonexistent Rise in Household Consumption
Did you know that about 10 percent of private consumption in the US consists of Medicare and Medicaid? Despite the fact that these are payments by the government to health care providers, they are counted by the BEA both as income and consumption spending for households. I bet you didn't know that. I bet plenty of people who work with the national income accounts for a living don't know that. I know I didn't know it, until I read this new working paper by Barry Cynamon and Steve Fazzari. I've often thought that the best macroeconomics is just accounting plus history. This paper is an accounting tour de force. What they've done is go through the national accounts and separate out the components of household income and expenditure that represent cashflows received and made by households, from everything else. -- long discussion of paper at SSRN - didn't download -- downloaded pdf to Note of Mason paper showing household debt not from borrowing for consumption but effects of high interest and disinflation
paper  SSRN  economic_history  US_economy  consumers  debt  wages  financialization  housing  health_care  statistics  downloaded  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Anya Plutynski, review - Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen, and Roberta L. Millstein (eds.), Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // March 2014
Reviewed by Anya Plutynski, Washington University in St. Louis -- while the themes are consistent, the authors' examples, approaches and conclusions were not. I take this to be one of the strengths of the volume: reading it is like listening in on a conversation among amicable but not always like-minded peers. Some authors place a good deal of emphasis on the utility of the mechanistic perspective in addressing core problems in philosophy of science (Darden, Carl Craver and Marie Kaiser, Steel); others see mechanism as less central to characterizing scientific explanation, method, or discovery, at least in some domains (Till Grüne-Yanoff, David Teirra and Julian Reiss). While the dividing lines are not always so sharp, one can draw some rough and general conclusions: while thinking in terms of mechanisms can be enormously important, especially in applied contexts where concerns of intervention and control dominate, there are a wide array of open philosophical questions about how we use formal models in representing dynamical behavior, what kinds of statistical tools are best at assessing causal relationships, and when we have a causal relation in general that may or may not avail itself of mechanistic thinking. It seems that when and why thinking in terms of mechanism is of use is a very context specific matter.
books  reviews  philosophy_of_science  mechanism  mechanisms-social_theory  causation  causation-evolutionary  evolutionary_biology  economic_theory  economic_models  statistics  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Charles Tilly - Observations of Social Processes and Their Formal Representations | JSTOR: Sociological Theory, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 2004), pp. 595-602
Distinctions between quantitative and qualitative social science misrepresent the actual choices confronting analysts of observations concerning social processes. Analysts regularly (if not always self-consciously) choose between adopting and avoiding formal representations of social processes. Despite widespread prejudices to the contrary, formalisms are available and helpful for all sorts of social scientific evidence, including those commonly labeled as qualitative. Available formalisms vary in two important regards: (1) from direct to analogical representation of the evidence at hand; and (2) from numerical to topological correspondence between formalism and evidence. Adoption of formalisms facilitates the identification of erroneous arguments, hence the correction of analytic errors and the production of more adequate explanations. -- see bibliography on jstor information page -- didn't download
article  jstor  social_theory  methodology  narrative  statistics  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
James Hamilton - Econbrowser: The peak in world oil production is yet to come - Sept 2013
. U.S. production grew by 1.3 mb/d and Canada by 770,000 b/d. Between them, these two countries could account for more than 100% of the 2.0 mb/d increase in world crude oil production since 2005, Production from all of the other countries in the world combined actually fell a little between 2005 and 2012. Significant gains in places like Iraq, Russia, and Angola were more than offset by declines in the North Sea, Mexico, and Iran..... , without oil sands and tight oil, crude oil production in the United States and Canada, and for that matter the world as a whole, would have been lower in 2012 than it was in 2005.

The EIA anticipates that U.S. tight oil production can continue to increase another 800,000 b/d above 2012 levels before peaking in 2020. ?....Those who thought that world oil production would peak in 2005 have been proven to be wrong. But so, too, were those who thought the run-up in oil prices of the last decade would be a temporary disruption until we found a way to return to the world as it had been for a century up until that point.
global_economy  US_economy  energy  statistics  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Larry Summers - Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics (1991)
JSTOR: The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 93, No. 2 (Jun., 1991), pp. 129-148 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- It is argued that formal econometric work, where elaborate technique is used to apply theory to data or isolate the direction of causal relationships when they are not obvious a priori, virtually always fails. The only empirical research that has contributed to thinking about substantive issues and the development of economics is pragmatic empirical work, based on methodological principles directly opposed to those that have become fashionable in recent years.
article  jstor  economic_theory  economic_models  macroeconomics  empiricism  positivism  statistics  methodology  econometrics  social_theory  epistemology  ontology-social  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Daniel Little - Understanding Society: Ian Hacking on chance as worldview | Sept 1, 2013
Very nice look at Hacking's contributions to philosophy of science, including where he fits with Kuhn and Foucault. -- Ian Hacking was one of the more innovative and adventurous philosophers to take up the philosophy of science as their field of inquiry. The Taming of Chance (1990) is a genuinely fascinating treatment of the subject of the emergence of the idea of populations of events rather than discrete individuals. Together with The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction and Statistical Inference (1975; 2nd ed. 2006), the two books represent a very original contribution to an important aspect of modern ways of thinking: the ways in which the human sciences and the public came to think differently about the nature of social and biological reality.
philosophy_of_science  history_of_science  probability  17thC  18thC  19thC  population  public_policy  biology  medicine  public_health  statistics  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Philip Benedict: Was the Eighteenth Century an Era of Urbanization in France? (1990)
JSTOR: The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 179-215 -- in comparing different results by historians, looks at definitional and measurement issues with implications for other issues like estimating preindustrial growth
article  jstor  social_history  economic_history  demography  economic_growth  urbanization  statistics  18thC  France  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
GEORGE GRANTHAM: The French cliometric revolution: A survey of cliometric contributions to French economic history (1997)
JSTOR: European Review of Economic History, Vol. 1, No. 3 (DECEMBER 1997), pp. 353-405 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- This article surveys cliometric research on the development of the French economy, with special emphasis on the fiscal and monetary history of the Revolution, the alleged retardation of the French economy in the nineteenth century, and the question of agricultural productivity in the early modern and industrial age.
article  jstor  economic_history  statistics  17thC  18thC  19thC  France  fiscal-military_state  fiscal_policy  monetary_policy  sovereign_debt  agriculture  demography  industrialization  modernization  lit_survey  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Claude Fischer: Economic Equality, 1774 and Beyond | MADE IN AMERICA August 2013
Stats on impact of American Revolution, decline of South relative to North after Revolution, equality between households and inequality within
economic_history  US_economy  US_history  American_Revolution  statistics  equality 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Developing Your Portfolio With Developing Markets: Market Commentary: BlackRock August 2013
Great charts - The developing world is fast becoming a land of opportunity for investors. With healthy economic growth, strong company fundamentals and solid credit conditions, there's a lot to like about the world's emerging markets (EMs). But EM volatility is real and it's unsettling, especially considering there's a lot of ground to cover and scarce information to help guide investors. Here, Jeff Shen and Rodolfo Martell discuss the opportunities and challenges of EM investing, and introduce a strategy for allocating broadly across this fertile, if rocky, ground.
financial_system  international_finance  international_political_economy  emerging_markets  capital_markets  economic_growth  statistics  OECD_economies  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Ethan Watters: Why Americans Are the WIERDest People in the World | Pacific Standard February 2013
Long form article: Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture.
* * * *
The growing body of cross-cultural research that the three researchers were compiling suggested that the mind’s capacity to mold itself to cultural and environmental settings was far greater than had been assumed. The most interesting thing about cultures may not be in the observable things they do—the rituals, eating preferences, codes of behavior, and the like—but in the way they mold our most fundamental conscious and unconscious thinking and perception.
* * * * This new approach suggests the possibility of reverse-engineering psychological research: look at cultural content first; cognition and behavior second. Norenzayan’s recent work on religious belief is perhaps the best example of the intellectual landscape that is now open for study. 
social_theory  statistics  culture  biocultural_evolution  human_nature  psychology  social_psychology  microeconomics  rational_choice  evo_psych  sociology_of_religion  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Robert Gonzalez: WIERD - Rich, educated westerners could be skewing social science studies | io9.com
Links to debates about psychology, social psych, evo psych, experimental microeconomics etc using subjects from developed Western societies, especially college students, and even worse, psych majors
social_theory  psychology  microeconomics  rational_choice  statistics  culture  social_psychology  sociology_of_religion  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  human_nature 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
The Scarlet Letter for economists | The Enlightened Economist June 2013
An econometrics paper that can make you laugh? Yes, Ed Leamer, famously the author of a 1983 paper, Let’s Take the Con Out of Econometrics (pdf), has a superb 2010 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Tantalus on the Road to Asymptopia – it’s free access,  only moderately technical, and brilliant.

The point is that the available economic data will always support a range of different theories, and Leamer advocates sensitivity analyses that illustrate the spectrum of parameter values and theories consistent with observed data. Economists need to go back to 1921, he argues, and read Keynes’s Treatise on Probability and Frank Knight’s Risk, Uncertainty and Profit. Both books point out that decisions are subject to three-valued logic (yes, no, don’t know) whereas economic theory assumes away the large territory of don’t know.
economic_models  probability  risk  statistics  EF-add 
july 2013 by dunnettreader
Antonio Fatas: The power of statistics (Ferguson and the WSJ) June 2013
Fatas catched Niall being naughty.

Here is the quote from Ferguson's article:"In only around 20 countries has the total duration of dealing with "red tape" gone up. The sixth-worst case is none other than the U.S., where the total number of days has increased by 18% to 433."

I had to read the article several times to understand how the statistics from the World Bank report were manipulated (I cannot find another word) to produce such a misleading picture of (excessive) regulation in the US.

The US is ranked #4 in the overall ranking - same position as last year- and #13 when it comes to "Starting a Business" indicators (one position lower than last year).
bad_economics  bad_journalism  statistics 
june 2013 by dunnettreader

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