Be careful with cross-country variation in self-rated health.

Measures of self-reported health status are generally considered fairly accurate measures of underlying “real” health status (measures of self-rated health (SRH) are, for example, predictive of subsequent mortality). Typical SRH items will ask a respondent something along the lines of “In general, how is the state of your health these days?” with a Likert response… Continue reading Be careful with cross-country variation in self-rated health.

Would Clinton and Trump have been better off running in the 18th century?

There is currently massive media coverage of the health status of the two American presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton contracting pneumonia and appearing weak at the 911 memorial ceremony, and Donald Trump revealing doctor’s documents showing that he is bordering on obese and takes cholesterol-lowering drugs, have almost completely overshadowed more substantial political issues in the… Continue reading Would Clinton and Trump have been better off running in the 18th century?

Are Swedish authorities sloppy when designing ballot papers? Evidence from an RDD.

I’ve been digging into some (actually, lots of) data on ballot layout and preference voting from the Swedish electoral authority, Valmyndigheten, recently, mainly as a way of practicing my RDD-skills. In the process I’ve come across some funky results that I have a hard time getting my head around, which has led me to contemplate:… Continue reading Are Swedish authorities sloppy when designing ballot papers? Evidence from an RDD.

No – the sign of your correlation doesn’t mean anything either

Here is a generic version of a conversation I’ve had a few too many times: Person 1: “Hey look what I found! My favourite theory is consistent with this correlation. This thing is positively related to that thing.” Person 2: “Good for you! Correlation doesn’t imply causation, though, right?” Person 1: “Of course not, don’t… Continue reading No – the sign of your correlation doesn’t mean anything either