‘Metrics Monday: Statistical Literacy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. (Photo Credit: Marc F. Bellemare.)
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. (Photo Credit: Marc F. Bellemare.)

(Back from two weeks in Milan, where I attended the 2015 IAAE conference, visited Expo 2015, took some time off, and saw friends I had not seen in a long time. This week’s ‘Metrics Monday is a bit different in that it is not so much about econometrics, but about the consumers of results generated by econometrics, and the need for better statistical education at an early age.)

In a conversation on this blog’s Facebook page a few weeks ago about a new working paper, a friend asked “Does this support [X] or not?” Given that the paper under discussion looked at a number of outcomes and presented a mixed bag of results, and given that the results were not causally identified, I responded: “There is no simple answer to that question. There is a little bit of everything for everyone here. Read the limitations section, too.” My friend then said she had done that but was still confused, and that “We all know it’s much easier to lie with statistics than tell the truth.”

Is it? Or is it just much easier to be misled by statistics than it is to lie with them? Continue reading

The Books that Have Changed My Thinking: A Curated List

A few months ago, a series of posts ran on this blog discussing the books that have changed my thinking. People really enjoyed those posts, so they are now assembled into one big curated list, here.

It is a curated list because a few books will hopefully be added to this list every year. Those new additions will be placed at the very bottom of the list, under “additional books.”

Empirical Research on Contract Farming: Quo Vadis?

That was the title of my talk at the Rapid Agrifood System Transformation, Globalization, and International Development pre-conference held before this year’s Agricultural and Applied Economics Association annual meetings.

Here are the slides for that talk, which focused on where the empirical research on contract farming should be headed over the next 10 years.

Among other things, the talk went over: Continue reading