[Rerun] ‘Metrics Monday: Rookie Mistakes in Empirical Analysis

(We had family visiting over the weekend, so I didn’t have the requisite time to think up of a new topic for the ‘Metrics Monday series. I have a few ideas lined up for posts on outliers, dummy variables, and so on, but I would have needed more time to explore them. What follows is a rerun of a post that some of you might have missed the first time around in early 2014.)

On the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative blog, Frances Woolley had a good post about why beginner econometricians get so worked up about the wrong things:

[I]t is rare that I will have someone come to my office hours and ask “Have I chosen my sample appropriately?” Instead, year after year, students are obsessed about learning how to use probit or logit models, as if their computer would explode, or the god of econometrics would smite them down, if they were to try to explain a 0-1 dependent variable by running an ordinary least squares regression.

I try to explain: “Look, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make much difference to your results. It’s hard to come up with an intuitive interpretation of what logit and probit coefficients mean, and it’s a hassle to calculate the marginal effects. You can run logit or probit if you want, but run a linear probability model as well, so I can tell whether or not anything weird is going on with the regression.”

But they just don’t believe me. Continue reading

FERDI Workshop on Commodity Market Instability

I spent part of last week in Clermont-Ferrand, at the Fondation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international (FERDI), at a workshop with the lengthy title of “Commodity Market Instability and Asymmetries in Developing Countries: Development Impacts and Policies,”  and which was convened by Alexandros Sarris, of the University of Athens and FERDI.

The workshop’s purpose and themes were as follows:

The general purpose of the workshop is on the one hand to examine the state of the art in the area of asymmetries and irreversibilities relating to commodity market instability and development, with the purpose to first pinpoint gaps in current research, and secondly to highlight promising areas of policy intervention to aid developing countries to manage/cope with market instability. As the topic is very large, and impossible to cover in all of its various aspects, the workshop will restrict its proceedings to a set of specific themes that are judged to have been underemphasized in previous empirical and policy development economics research. While commodity market instability can originate in many ways, the workshop will be restricted to market instability arising from natural or other unpredicted events, as well as unforeseen market developments.

You can find the program and the papers presented at the workshop here by clicking on the relevant tab. The event was an excellent occasion meet with colleagues old and new and discuss a topic which has occupied a sizable proportion of my professional life as well as to receive feedback on the experimental work I have been doing with Yu Na Lee and David Just on price risk preferences.

This Blog Now Has a Facebook Page

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