Weekend Reading: Nate Silver (2009): Dow 36,000 Guy Kevin Hassett Accuses Obama of Sabotaging Economy

Should-Read: Jonathan Portes: Spreadsheets are people too: statistics and reality http://notthetreasuryview.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/spreadsheets-are-people-too-statistics.html: "[David] Goodhart’s response will be... that I am...

...“sniping in the footnotes” and that I spend too much time with databases and not enough in the “real world”. But there is a fundamental problem with the argument by those like Dr McCrae or Mr Goodhart that “spreadsheets” or “databases” are somehow divorced from reality, while the experiences of (selected) individuals represent it. In fact, spreadsheets—or at least the ones used by labour market economists and, indeed, quantitative social scientists more broadly—are far more closely connected to the “real world” than any [single] individuals’ experience can hope to be.... The statement that... the bottom decile... have recently seen their pay rise faster ... is not (just) a statement about numbers, or a claim that Mr Goodhart has failed to read the right ONS spreadsheet. It is a statement about what has–contrary to Mr Goodhart’s claim-actually happened to the pay packets of several million people. It is the spreadsheet, not what my nephew looking for a job, your cab driver, or Dr McCrae’s landscape gardener friend say that best reflect the real world...

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