“Kountry” Package for STATA

I may be late to the ball on this one, but in discussing a project that we're working on, fellow QP blogger Michael Allen recently pointed me to the "kountry" package for STATA. The package was created by Rafal Raciborski for the purposes of facilitating the creation of country codes and switching between codes provided by different sources (e.g. COW, IMF, etc.). The cite for the STATA Journal piece corresponding to the package is below: Raciborski, R. 2008. kountry: A Stata utility for merging cross-country data from multiple sources. Stata Journal 8: 390-400 Anyone that has worked with country codes knows Continue reading “Kountry” Package for STATA

Facts and Stuff on the Distributions of Income and Race in America

Via Andrew Gelman at the Monkey Cage, an article on this recent Gallup poll regarding people's income and their perceptions of income distributions, tax burdens, etc.  The thrust of the article is that there are some disparities between where people fall in the overall income distribution and their perceptions of how the tax burden should be distributed—Not my normal thing, but interesting nevertheless. More below…

Faculty Salary, Compensation, and the Cost of Living.

Voir Dire posted a working paper yesterday that is worthy of reposting given its broad implications. The paper "University Rankings by Cost of Living Adjusted Faculty Compensation" by Terrance Jalbert, Mercedes Jalbert, and Karla Hayashi in the International Journal of Management and Marketing Research can be found at SSRN. The abstract can be viewed at either Voir Dire or SSRN, so I will save the space and not repost it here, but a bit more information can be found after the jump.  It is perhaps sufficient to say that the aggregated and averaged data can be tremendously interesting to any Continue reading Faculty Salary, Compensation, and the Cost of Living.

Is our children eating margarine?

A recent medical study has gained some media attention by finding and arguing that, among other factors, consumption of margarine by infants leads to lower IQ scores.  The study, based on  590 New Zealand European children claims many other factors can contribute to the IQ of children such as consuming fish weekly and grains 4 times a day.  Also, the study suggests that women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant have a positive effect on IQ. The news article suffers from simplification and does not address some of the vital questions that are demanded of it such as Continue reading Is our children eating margarine?

Most Corrupt States in the US

USA Today provides an infographic detailing the number of corruption convictions per 100,000 people.  Using statistics from the Department of Justice, the article boldly declares that North Dakota is the most corrupt state in the Union while infamous Illinois comes in at a late 17th: Using conviction rates of corruption as a proxy for the number of corruption cases is obviously misleading.  The most corrupt system would have zero convictions.   While there are more reliable academic measures on corruption, I am sure this data could be better measured and understood a mixture of measures including state openness (more open public Continue reading Most Corrupt States in the US

700 Fresh Posts to read…

Traveling for Thanksgiving gave me the opportunity to abandon my daily reading schedule and come back to a stockpile of new posts to read.  The highlights thus far from the last 5 days: – Flowing Data has a chart contest. The winner receives two Tufte books.  Entries are due on Friday. – Andrew Gelman has a interesting stroy of his undergraduate academic years that lead to his publishing a paper from those days over two decades later.  If only my undergraduate work was methodologically related to my background now. – Rodger at The Duck of Minerva watches the History Channel; Continue reading 700 Fresh Posts to read…

Aggregating Predictions for 2008

On October 7th, a peer of mine collected 20 surveys from self-selected (volunteered) members of the political science department (from first year graduate students to professors) on an electoral challenge.  The survey presented seventeen different questions in regards to electoral outcomes and those who were able to predict the most accurately 14 of the 17 questions (with 3 of the questions serving as tie breakers) win an undisclosed prize for the top performer.  There is no prize awarded for second place. This is neither a random sample nor a sample of electoral experts, but instead represents a combination of strategic Continue reading Aggregating Predictions for 2008

Browsing History and Gender Identity

The Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science blog posted an interesting tool (direct link) that attempts to discern your gender identity by evaluating your browser history.  Particular websites are weighted based on the known gender ratio of the user base for that particular website and creates a new score.   The site assures users it does not store user information and it suggests that there is a 99% chance that I am male versus, obviously a 1% chance that I am female: Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 1% Likelihood of you being MALE is 99%

When Form can Overwhelm Content

I am not a visually oriented person or, more appropriately, I am less than stellar at design.  This may not be a surprise to anyone that has seen my attempts to assemble a wardrobe, but this is also true in the sense of organizing information – whether it is in a paper, on a poster, or for a conference presentation.  As such, I am compelling myself to learn two programs/languages this summer that will both allow me to overcome my shortcomings ~ LaTeX and R.  Yes, my devotion to wysiwyg interfaces and minimal .do files might be crumbling a bit.  Continue reading When Form can Overwhelm Content