This is a terrible idea. The reason it’s a terrible idea is that it’s virtually impossible. People who have worked with real data for years are often still abjectly terrible at it. As evidenced by the number of well credentialed experts who were revealed as charlatans by Covid.
See also the number of people who think that supply and demand do not apply to housing.
The number of criminologists who refuse to accept that almost all of the two massive crime waves in America were driven by lead poisoning. And probably also teen pregnancy rates.
If our academic elite can’t reliably do it there is clearly no way a few extra school lessons are going to help normal people do it.
A list of of well evidenced propositions that people systematically deny for ideological reasons follows:
That educational attainment is almost entirely driven by internal characteristics of individual children and that neither school choice, teacher quality, or any other known intervention has large effect sizes. No private/grammar schools don’t improve exam results sorry.
That nevertheless pre-school does have large positive effects on life time outcomes for disadvantaged kids mainly through behavioural channels. It does this without improving educational outcomes.
That neither immigration nor globalisation systematically affect wages apart from possibly in weird sub sectors like nursing/doctors with strange underlying supply/demand dynamics.
That individual heritability not only of intelligence but other behavioural traits that are economically beneficial like conscientiousness is very high and that therefore kids of high earners will systematically outperform kids of lower earners in educational and economic metrics
That no fault divorce systematically affects who you choose to marry and leads to more assertive mating and higher between household inequality.

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More from @IronEconomist

22 Nov
They also attend properly to the effects of reporting lags in death:
This leaves them with the following sample:
And they find the following:
Read 17 tweets
3 Sep
So there seems to be a myth taking hold among the twitter commentariat that a lot of housing economists think that the rise in house prices in the UK is well explained by interest rates alone. This.... is not the expert consensus. Here is a thread of papers (in no partic order).
Nice recent paper using a planning dataset from the uk:…
Starts with a nice little literature review:
Read 18 tweets
12 May
ONS now recorded 46380 excess deaths by May first. Deaths are coming off but there are still going to have been many thousands since May first, we are certainly over 50k already, and it seems doubtful death rates will fully normalise before we reach 60k.
60000 deaths is 0.1% of the population. This means a sero-prevalence at 10% would lead to an IFR of 1%. In the last ten days we have had three pieces of information that make it likely the total attack rate closer to 5% than 10% in the UK, and consequently an IFR near 2%.
Firstly Patrick Vallence gave a preview of the UK ongoing serology study (due May 14th I believe):… look around 10:20-10:20. 10% in London 3-4% UK wide.
Read 7 tweets
24 Apr
So I was reading this excellent analysis of how GRR Martin's books differ from the medieval world, and it brought together a few thoughts I have been having for a while:…
One of the reasons I find history so fascinating, is that it somehow reveals how our modern world is anomalous, and I think one way in which our world is particularly unusual, is the lack of real constraints on elite behaviour.
And by elite here I do not just mean billionaires, I mean university professors, and small bushiness owners and journalists. The top 10% on some ranking of financial power and prestige.
Read 21 tweets
25 Mar
Absolutely mad to me how many people are credulously reporting the FT headline that ‘up to half of U.K. may have been infected’ when the paper plots a variety of results and to get that one you have to assume an IFR 100x smaller than consensus.
No wonder the researchers ‘weren’t keen to criticise the government’. They probably know perfectly well the IFR is likely around 1%.
Their paper points out the path of deaths can be consistent with higher prevalence/lower severity. But people have been estimating those numbers and despite uncertainty exactly no one thinks it’s a tenth as deadly as the common flu. Which is what is needed for 50% exposure.
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar
So on the oxford paper, the two main findings are this graph, where rho characterises the percentage of severe cases. (0.01 = 1%). Image
But the key is to characterise rho in terms of the more common IFR - the death rate among all infections, we see from the rhs here that deaths are only 0.12-0.016 of rho. Image
This means that rho=0.001, generating the FT headlines, corresponds to a true IFR aroudn 0.00014, or 0.014%, which is deeply implausible. Using the same IFR as the imperial paper (1%), rho would be 0.06, and only a small fraction are infected. Hard to read but maybe 10%.
Read 5 tweets

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