Entries by jamesz

Football referees aren’t just wrong, they’re biased

Football penalties are often controversial and the first couple of days of the World Cup have already provided one dubious decision. Luckily for the referee’s personal safety it favoured the hosts, Brazil. But, according to Randal Olson’s fascinating analysis of penalty decisions, there may be more than luck involved: 70.6% of all penalty kicks were awarded to […]

In support of dynamic scoring

Estimating the impact of tax cuts is a tricky business. You can fairly easily calculate how the revenue from current income and spending will change, but that’s just the beginning. The problem is that people don’t stand still: they change their earning and spending habits in response to your tax changes, which changes the revenues […]

Economic forecasters aren’t all that bad

Economists get a lot of criticism for failing to polish their crystal balls thoroughly enough before reading the economy. So how good are people forecasting other complex systems? Physicist types. Real Scientists. Let’s ask a weather forecaster how accurate their forecasts are a couple of days out. Days, not months, quarters, or years. …if our […]

There is no One Model to Rule Them All

I like the influence that physicists are having on economics. Moving towards agent-based modelling in some areas of the discipline is a great idea. But, in addition to lending their novel insights, some seem to enjoy piling on economics generally. Generally you have to take the good with the bad but Mark Buchanan’s latest article […]

QOTD: Mark Carney

On being challenged over an evasive answer in a Committee hearing, Carney quips: I didn’t get to my position by being overly precise when I didn’t need to be. Yet bloggers spend much of their time proffering opinions on questions nobody is asking.