Economists Use Shoddy Data
From Slate Articles
January 7, 2013 - 3:05pm
Economists are a smart bunch, and in San Diego over the weekend for the annual meeting of the American Economic Association lots of impressive analytical chops were on display. Sometimes, though, the analysis seems to badly overreach the data. A well-attended panel discussion about whether economics is hopelessly riven by ideological disagreement, for example, proceeded even though the IGM Chicago survey it’s based on isn’t even close to being a statistically valid survey. And the issue recurs even outside the realm of such “fun” discussions and infects much more sober research. No grand theory is going to be much better than the data it’s based on, and the underlying quality is often distressingly poor.
A worse-attended, dramatically lower-charisma discussion occurred the following day about a dully titled paper on “Cyclical Variation in Productivity Using the ATUS” by Mic...
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