Unbelievably exciting results!

Chris Dillow, via Eric:

…even intelligent and numerate people are quick to misperceive randomness and to pay for an expertise that doesn’t exist; the subjects included students of sciences, engineering and accounting.

Which reminded me of Andrew Gelman’s recent post about results in headline academic journals such as Science and Nature. He quotes Sanjay Srivastava saying:

As long as a journal pursues a strategy of publishing “wow” studies, it will inevitably contain more unreplicable findings and unsupportable conclusions than equally rigorous but more ‘boring’ journals. Groundbreaking will always be higher-risk. And definitive will be the territory of journals that publish meta-analyses and reviews.

We may all know that the implausible results that often lead headline journals are likely to be wrong, but it doesn’t seem to stop us citing them constantly!

Thanks Auckland!

I’d just like to say thanks to the people who turned up to the presentation in Auckland on Friday, I hope you had as much fun as I did!  Everyone that was there had interesting points and questions, so I thought it was just great.

I will be doing the same thing in Wellington on Saturday – I will pop up more details closer to the time.

Next week I’ll also get the slides online for anyone who is interested but couldn’t make it along 😉

NZAE (blog) splits

It appears that the mainstay of NZAE’s recent blogging efforts, Bill Kaye-Blake, now has a blog of his own: Groping towards Bethlehem. No doubt full of enthusiasm from the joy of blogging he decided he needed an outlet where he can talk about Meat Loaf, post-modern cliches, psycho-analysis, and welfare reform; a more idiosyncratic blend of thoughts than one might expect to see on NZAE’s website. It seems that Bill’s blog might be a bit more fun than most economists’ and I was particularly delighted to see no mention of inflation or interest rates in the first few posts! [Not that there’s anything wrong with those, Matt ;)]

Eric Crampton comments on the first few posts here and reckons “Bill’s thinking about things in the right way”. Sounds like a pass mark to me!

Off Topic: Tricking athletes into performing

Fascinating article on the New York Times about using deception to make cyclists push themselves past what they thought their limits were in training.

It’s a shame I don’t have  coach for my road cycling….I’m not really sure if I will be able to “trick myself”, haha.

Blog Update

Those who trawl our site regularly may have noticed the blog has had a visual refresh over the last couple of days.

For those who care, the main changes are:

  • Less ugly: Fairly self explanatory…
  • Social media integration:  this should make it much easier for you tell all your friends how much you disagree with Matt;)
  • Nested comments: This should make it easier to tell which one of Matt’s comments you are disagreeing with;)
  • Rich text editor for comments: So when you want to emphasise how strongly you disagree with Matt you can bold stuff:) (will keep playing with different plugins for this, right now it is very simple)
  • Moar ads, nom nom nom: Sticking to the stereotype placed upon as greedy capitalists, we have switched to google ads. So hopefully there will be more relevant content for you and more beer money for us!

I will probably keep tweaking it over the next couple of weeks and try and add some other modern features. Any suggestions for ways we can improve the blog are welcome!

Merry Christmas

From TVHE.

And don’t forget – if it wasn’t that we arbitrarily valued the idea of people spending time “thinking” about our gifts (and that the gift givers sometimes value looking like they are thinking) it would just be optimal for us to give each other money 😉

Also note that the cost of Christmas dinner has fallen 3.5% this year (or closer to 5% in real terms).  Is this the result of deficient demand, improving productivity, or some other shock.

Christmas always raises a lot of important economic questions 😛