the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

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the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Sarah Goslee
Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
this might be of interest.

http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems

The punchline:

"If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."

Ouch.

(Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
true: highly problematic.)

Sarah

--
Sarah Goslee
http://www.functionaldiversity.org

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Frank Harrell
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
What a terrific article.  Thanks for sharing!
Frank
Sarah Goslee wrote
Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
this might be of interest.

http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems

The punchline:

"If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."

Ouch.

(Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
true: highly problematic.)

Sarah

--
Sarah Goslee
http://www.functionaldiversity.org

______________________________________________
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Frank Harrell
Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University
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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

John Kane
In reply to this post by Sarah Goslee
When in doubt, assume the spreadsheet is wrong.  I suggested this to someone have a problem with R vs Excel results  a while ago.  When I checked back with him -- there was a spreadsheet error.  

I think a t-shirt with the motto "Friends don't let friends use spreadsheets"[1] sounds like a good idea.  Unfortunately I am not artistic enough to do a design.

1. Slight paraphrase of J. D Cryer's statement http://homepage.cs.uiowa.edu/~jcryer/JSMTalk2001.pdf

John Kane
Kingston ON Canada


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> Sent: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:25:57 -0400
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [R] the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)
>
> Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
> results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
> this might be of interest.
>
> http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems
>
> The punchline:
>
> "If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
> well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
> core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
> global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
> accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."
>
> Ouch.
>
> (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
> the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
> true: highly problematic.)
>
> Sarah
>
> --
> Sarah Goslee
> http://www.functionaldiversity.org
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Frank Harrell
In reply to this post by Sarah Goslee
What a terrific article.  Thanks for sharing!  The more we critically
examine how research is actually done the more frightened we become.

Frank

--
Frank E Harrell Jr Professor and Chairman      School of Medicine
                    Department of Biostatistics Vanderbilt University

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Frank Harrell
Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University
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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

John Kane
I tend to live in fear that some spreadsheet calculating a drug dose for me will use my telephone number rather than my weight.

John Kane
Kingston ON Canada


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> Sent: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:20:46 -0500
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [R] the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)
>
> What a terrific article.  Thanks for sharing!  The more we critically
> examine how research is actually done the more frightened we become.
>
> Frank
>
> --
> Frank E Harrell Jr Professor and Chairman      School of Medicine
>                     Department of Biostatistics Vanderbilt University
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Jim Lemon
In reply to this post by Sarah Goslee
On 04/17/2013 03:25 AM, Sarah Goslee wrote:
> ...
> Ouch.
>
> (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
> the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
> true: highly problematic.)
>
> Sarah
>
There seem to be three major problems described here, and only one is
marginally related to Excel (and similar spreadsheets). Cherry picking
data is all too common. Almost anyone who reviews papers for publication
will have encountered it, and there are excellent books describing
examples that have had great influence on public policy.

Similarly, applying obscure and sometimes inappropriate statistical
methods that produce the desired results when nothing else will appears
with depressing frequency.

The final point does relate to Excel and any application that hides what
is going on to the casual observer. I will treasure this URL to give to
anyone who chastises my moaning when I have to perform some task in
Excel. It is not an error in the application (although these certainly
exist) but a salutory caution to those who think that if a reasonable
looking number appears in a cell, it must be the correct answer. I have
found not one, but two such errors in the simple calculation of a
"birthday age" from the date of birth and date of death.

Jim

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Shane Carey
Can you resend this link please?

Thanks


On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 10:33 PM, Jim Lemon <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 04/17/2013 03:25 AM, Sarah Goslee wrote:
>
>> ...
>> Ouch.
>>
>> (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
>> the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
>> true: highly problematic.)
>>
>> Sarah
>>
>>  There seem to be three major problems described here, and only one is
> marginally related to Excel (and similar spreadsheets). Cherry picking data
> is all too common. Almost anyone who reviews papers for publication will
> have encountered it, and there are excellent books describing examples that
> have had great influence on public policy.
>
> Similarly, applying obscure and sometimes inappropriate statistical
> methods that produce the desired results when nothing else will appears
> with depressing frequency.
>
> The final point does relate to Excel and any application that hides what
> is going on to the casual observer. I will treasure this URL to give to
> anyone who chastises my moaning when I have to perform some task in Excel.
> It is not an error in the application (although these certainly exist) but
> a salutory caution to those who think that if a reasonable looking number
> appears in a cell, it must be the correct answer. I have found not one, but
> two such errors in the simple calculation of a "birthday age" from the date
> of birth and date of death.
>
> Jim
>
> ______________________________**________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/**listinfo/r-help<https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help>
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/**
> posting-guide.html <http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html>
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>



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Shane

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Peter Dalgaard-2

On Apr 17, 2013, at 10:16 , Shane Carey wrote:

> Can you resend this link please?
>

Psst:

https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-help/2013-April/351669.html


--
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Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Kevin Wright-5
In reply to this post by Jim Lemon
On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM, Jim Lemon <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 04/17/2013 03:25 AM, Sarah Goslee wrote:

The final point does relate to Excel and any application that hides what is

> going on to the casual observer. I will treasure this URL to give to anyone
> who chastises my moaning when I have to perform some task in Excel. It is
> not an error in the application (although these certainly exist) but a
> salutory caution to those who think that if a reasonable looking number
> appears in a cell, it must be the correct answer. I have found not one, but
> two such errors in the simple calculation of a "birthday age" from the date
> of birth and date of death.
>
> Jim
>

So there (maybe) was a bug in Excel.  Maybe hidden from the "casual
observer".  And since Excel is not R, and we are R snobs, Excel is evil,
right?  But, wait.  Is it easier for a "casual observer" to detect a flaw
in the formula in Excel, or to find an incorrect array index in an R
script?  All ye who want to cast stones upon the interface of Excel should
ask yourselves if you have ever had a bug in R code.

Kevin (no fan of Excel either)



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> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/**
> posting-guide.html <http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html>
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>



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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Gabor Grothendieck
In reply to this post by Sarah Goslee
On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Sarah Goslee <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
> results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
> this might be of interest.
>
> http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems
>
> The punchline:
>
> "If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
> well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
> core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
> global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
> accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."
>
> Ouch.
>
> (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
> the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
> true: highly problematic.)
>

Herndon, Ash and Pollin (HAP), the authors of the critique, found that
in the highest debt category the Excel error in Rienhart and Rogoff
(RR)  was -0.3 percent points compared to a total error (from that
plus RR's other 2 mistakes) of -2.3 percentage points.  See Figure 1
of HAP. Thus aside from the dubiousness of attributing the coding
error in Excel to Excel itself it was not the main source of the
discrepancy.

Also even if one backs out all three errors that they found, the key
conclusion that GDP growth is declining with debt still occurs (but to
a lesser extent) as pointed out by RR in an initial responding email
reported by Bloomberg News.

The key takeaway here is really unrelated to Excel but rather is that
until data and analyses are shared or made public so that the analysis
can be reproduced one cannot have any real confidence in research
results.

RR
http://www.nber.org/papers/w15639.pdf

HAP
http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/working_papers/working_papers_301-350/WP322.pdf

Bloomberg News
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-16/reinhart-rogoff-paper-cited-by-ryan-faulted-for-serious-errors-.html

--
Statistics & Software Consulting
GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Peter Dalgaard-2
In reply to this post by Sarah Goslee
In case you haven't noticed, this is making the rounds in the media, including a handful of references to R. See e.g.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/04/17/0215211/excel-error-contributes-to-problems-with-austerity-study

I suppose we can't fortune()'ify anonymous quotes, but I kind of like this exchange:

"Bacon Bits": "SPSS and R are very good at statistical analysis. Quantrix, MapleSoft, IBM Algorithmics, and other software is for financial data modeling. None of those is particularly appropriate for sharing data in a useful format with peers. Excel is."

"Hatta": "R is extremely appropriate for sharing data in a useful format with peers. It's completely free for one. But more importantly, it saves every single step of your analysis. Send someone an Excel file, and who knows what they've done to the data. Send someone your R project directory and they can see exactly what you did.

The problem with sending R files to your peers isn't that the R files aren't useful. It's that your peers aren't."



 
On Apr 16, 2013, at 19:25 , Sarah Goslee wrote:

> Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
> results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
> this might be of interest.
>
> http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems
>
> The punchline:
>
> "If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
> well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
> core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
> global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
> accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."
>
> Ouch.
>
> (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
> the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
> true: highly problematic.)
>
> Sarah
>
> --
> Sarah Goslee
> http://www.functionaldiversity.org
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--
Peter Dalgaard, Professor
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]

______________________________________________
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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Thomas Adams-2
One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or perhaps a way to
get the desired results, give the other issues in their analysis?


On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 11:58 AM, peter dalgaard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In case you haven't noticed, this is making the rounds in the media,
> including a handful of references to R. See e.g.
>
>
> http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/04/17/0215211/excel-error-contributes-to-problems-with-austerity-study
>
> I suppose we can't fortune()'ify anonymous quotes, but I kind of like this
> exchange:
>
> "Bacon Bits": "SPSS and R are very good at statistical analysis. Quantrix,
> MapleSoft, IBM Algorithmics, and other software is for financial data
> modeling. None of those is particularly appropriate for sharing data in a
> useful format with peers. Excel is."
>
> "Hatta": "R is extremely appropriate for sharing data in a useful format
> with peers. It's completely free for one. But more importantly, it saves
> every single step of your analysis. Send someone an Excel file, and who
> knows what they've done to the data. Send someone your R project directory
> and they can see exactly what you did.
>
> The problem with sending R files to your peers isn't that the R files
> aren't useful. It's that your peers aren't."
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 16, 2013, at 19:25 , Sarah Goslee wrote:
>
> > Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
> > results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
> > this might be of interest.
> >
> >
> http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems
> >
> > The punchline:
> >
> > "If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
> > well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
> > core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
> > global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
> > accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."
> >
> > Ouch.
> >
> > (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
> > the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
> > true: highly problematic.)
> >
> > Sarah
> >
> > --
> > Sarah Goslee
> > http://www.functionaldiversity.org
> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
> --
> Peter Dalgaard, Professor
> Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
> Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
> Phone: (+45)38153501
> Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Peter Dalgaard-2

On Apr 24, 2013, at 20:01 , Thomas Adams wrote:

> One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or perhaps a way to get the desired results, give the other issues in their analysis?

I think I'd reserve that suspicion for what they did with the NZ data:

Growth for 1946-49:  7.7, 11.9, −9.9, and 10.8
--            1951: -7.6

Those were the 5 years with Debt/GDP > 90%. Obviously, the economy was going up and down like a yoyo. So they retain only the last value, miscode it as -7.9, and give that one year the same weight as decades of positive growth in other countries...


>
>
> On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 11:58 AM, peter dalgaard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> In case you haven't noticed, this is making the rounds in the media, including a handful of references to R. See e.g.
>
> http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/04/17/0215211/excel-error-contributes-to-problems-with-austerity-study
>
> I suppose we can't fortune()'ify anonymous quotes, but I kind of like this exchange:
>
> "Bacon Bits": "SPSS and R are very good at statistical analysis. Quantrix, MapleSoft, IBM Algorithmics, and other software is for financial data modeling. None of those is particularly appropriate for sharing data in a useful format with peers. Excel is."
>
> "Hatta": "R is extremely appropriate for sharing data in a useful format with peers. It's completely free for one. But more importantly, it saves every single step of your analysis. Send someone an Excel file, and who knows what they've done to the data. Send someone your R project directory and they can see exactly what you did.
>
> The problem with sending R files to your peers isn't that the R files aren't useful. It's that your peers aren't."
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 16, 2013, at 19:25 , Sarah Goslee wrote:
>
> > Given that we occasionally run into problems with comparing Excel
> > results to R results, and other spreadsheet-induced errors, I thought
> > this might be of interest.
> >
> > http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems
> >
> > The punchline:
> >
> > "If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made,
> > well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the
> > core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the
> > global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone
> > accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel."
> >
> > Ouch.
> >
> > (Note: I know nothing about the site, the author of the article, or
> > the study in question. I was pointed to it by someone else. But if
> > true: highly problematic.)
> >
> > Sarah
> >
> > --
> > Sarah Goslee
> > http://www.functionaldiversity.org
> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
> --
> Peter Dalgaard, Professor
> Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
> Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
> Phone: (+45)38153501
> Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
>
>

--
Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]

______________________________________________
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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Ross Boylan
In reply to this post by Kevin Wright-5
On 4/17/2013 5:18 AM, Kevin Wright wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM, Jim Lemon <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 04/17/2013 03:25 AM, Sarah Goslee wrote:
> The final point does relate to Excel and any application that hides what is
>> going on to the casual observer. I will treasure this URL to give to anyone
>> who chastises my moaning when I have to perform some task in Excel. It is
>> not an error in the application (although these certainly exist) but a
>> salutory caution to those who think that if a reasonable looking number
>> appears in a cell, it must be the correct answer. I have found not one, but
>> two such errors in the simple calculation of a "birthday age" from the date
>> of birth and date of death.
>>
>> Jim
>>
> So there (maybe) was a bug in Excel.  Maybe hidden from the "casual
> observer".  And since Excel is not R, and we are R snobs, Excel is evil,
> right?  But, wait.  Is it easier for a "casual observer" to detect a flaw
> in the formula in Excel, or to find an incorrect array index in an R
> script?
If the person knows R, or can fake it, I think it is easier.  You have
to hunt around an Excel spreadsheet to see what the formulae are,
and the cell references usually have no inherent meaning.  Further, one
of the errors they made, not including all the data in a range, is very
easy to make in excel but would be very hard to make in R.

As others have noted, the problem was not a bug in Excel the program
(unless you consider the design a bug) but a bug induced by the use of
Excel.

I doubt the exclusion of the range was deliberate, although the other
errors seem to have been.  However, it is likely that if the result had
not been to their liking the original authors would have rechecked their
work and discovered the problem.  One of the "errors", equal weighting
of countries regardless of how many years they spent in a given state,
is arguably a judgement call. Selective exclusion and inclusion of data
is also a judgement call, but that strikes me as less defensible.

Someone wrote that the overall finding of a negative relation between
debt and growth is intact.  First of all, the headline summary was that
if debt/GDP > 90% you fall off a cliff.  That is not intact; it is
false.  The remaining relation is quite weak.  And the substantive
conclusion that high debt *causes* weaker growth is a complete reading
into a correlational finding.  It is pretty hard to sort out causal
ordering, but some evidence suggests it is more the reverse:
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/correlation-causality-and-casuistry/.
See Krugman and Delongs blogs generally for gleeful commentary, or the
original critique in
http://www.peri.umass.edu/236/hash/31e2ff374b6377b2ddec04deaa6388b1/publication/566/.

At any rate, a policy-relevant conclusion would need to be based on a
much more careful analysis than was done, careful not only in the
mechanics but in using methods that at least attempted to sort out the
causal relations.

The irony is that the substantively most trivial mistake is also the
most clearly an error, while the more important issues are at least a
little less clear-cut.

Ross

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

S Ellison-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Adams-2
 

> One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or
> perhaps a way to get the desired results, give the other
> issues in their analysis?

The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set pretty heavily in favour of incompetence ...

S


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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

William Dunlap
> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set pretty heavily in
> favour of incompetence ...

The following comment on economic research is from a 2010 article in the Atlantic
reviewing John Ioannidis' work.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/
 
  "Medical research is not especially plagued with wrongness.
   Other meta-research experts have confirmed that similar issues
   distort research in all fields of science, from physics to economics
   (where the highly regarded economists J. Bradford DeLong and
   Kevin Lang once showed how a remarkably consistent paucity of
   strong evidence in published economics studies made it unlikely
   that any of them were right)."

Bill Dunlap
Spotfire, TIBCO Software
wdunlap tibco.com


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf
> Of S Ellison
> Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:08 AM
> To: Thomas Adams; peter dalgaard
> Cc: r-help
> Subject: Re: [R] the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)
>
>
>
> > One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or
> > perhaps a way to get the desired results, give the other
> > issues in their analysis?
>
> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set pretty heavily in
> favour of incompetence ...
>
> S
>
>
> *******************************************************************
> This email and any attachments are confidential. Any use...{{dropped:8}}
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
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> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

John Kane
In reply to this post by S Ellison-2
From a quick read,  the Excel error prior  for incompetence looks high but some of the other issues hint that the prior for the overall findings was remarkably in favor of malice.

John Kane
Kingston ON Canada


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> Sent: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:07:55 +0100
> To: [hidden email], [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [R] the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)
>
>
>
>> One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or
>> perhaps a way to get the desired results, give the other
>> issues in their analysis?
>
> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set pretty
> heavily in favour of incompetence ...
>
> S
>
>
> *******************************************************************
> This email and any attachments are confidential. Any =...{{dropped:15}}

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

S Ellison-2
 

> From a quick read,  the Excel error prior  for incompetence
> looks high but some of the other issues hint that the prior
> for the overall findings was remarkably in favor of malice.

That's p(malice|evidence), not p(malice); surely that must be the posterior? ;-)

'tain't a great advert for economics either way, though, however much fun it may be to apply Bayes theorem (badly, in my case) to analyse it.

Steve E

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

jones-2
In reply to this post by William Dunlap
I once had a discussion with an economist who told me
in almost these exact words:

"I don't care what the data say, the theory is so clear".

albyn

On 2013-04-26 9:30, William Dunlap wrote:

>> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set
>> pretty heavily in
>> favour of incompetence ...
>
> The following comment on economic research is from a 2010 article in
> the Atlantic
> reviewing John Ioannidis' work.
>
> http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/
>
>   "Medical research is not especially plagued with wrongness.
>    Other meta-research experts have confirmed that similar issues
>    distort research in all fields of science, from physics to
> economics
>    (where the highly regarded economists J. Bradford DeLong and
>    Kevin Lang once showed how a remarkably consistent paucity of
>    strong evidence in published economics studies made it unlikely
>    that any of them were right)."
>
> Bill Dunlap
> Spotfire, TIBCO Software
> wdunlap tibco.com
>
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [hidden email]
>> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf
>> Of S Ellison
>> Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:08 AM
>> To: Thomas Adams; peter dalgaard
>> Cc: r-help
>> Subject: Re: [R] the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)
>>
>>
>>
>> > One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or
>> > perhaps a way to get the desired results, give the other
>> > issues in their analysis?
>>
>> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set
>> pretty heavily in
>> favour of incompetence ...
>>
>> S
>>
>>
>> *******************************************************************
>> This email and any attachments are confidential. Any
>> use...{{dropped:8}}
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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Re: the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)

Thomas Adams-2
Pretty scary...


On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:28 PM, Albyn Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I once had a discussion with an economist who told me
> in almost these exact words:
>
> "I don't care what the data say, the theory is so clear".
>
> albyn
>
>
> On 2013-04-26 9:30, William Dunlap wrote:
>
>> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set pretty
>>> heavily in
>>> favour of incompetence ...
>>>
>>
>> The following comment on economic research is from a 2010 article in
>> the Atlantic
>> reviewing John Ioannidis' work.
>>
>> http://www.theatlantic.com/**magazine/print/2010/11/lies-**
>> damned-lies-and-medical-**science/308269/<http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/>
>>
>>   "Medical research is not especially plagued with wrongness.
>>    Other meta-research experts have confirmed that similar issues
>>    distort research in all fields of science, from physics to economics
>>    (where the highly regarded economists J. Bradford DeLong and
>>    Kevin Lang once showed how a remarkably consistent paucity of
>>    strong evidence in published economics studies made it unlikely
>>    that any of them were right)."
>>
>> Bill Dunlap
>> Spotfire, TIBCO Software
>> wdunlap tibco.com
>>
>>
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>> From: [hidden email] [mailto:r-help-bounces@r-**
>>> project.org <[hidden email]>] On Behalf
>>> Of S Ellison
>>> Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:08 AM
>>> To: Thomas Adams; peter dalgaard
>>> Cc: r-help
>>> Subject: Re: [R] the joy of spreadsheets (off-topic)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> > One might wonder if the "Excel error" was indeed THAT or
>>> > perhaps a way to get the desired results, give the other
>>> > issues in their analysis?
>>>
>>> The prior for the incompetence/malice question is usually best set
>>> pretty heavily in
>>> favour of incompetence ...
>>>
>>> S
>>>
>>>
>>> ***********************************************************************
>>> This email and any attachments are confidential. Any use...{{dropped:8}}
>>>
>>> ______________________________**________________
>>> [hidden email] mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/**listinfo/r-help<https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help>
>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/**
>>> posting-guide.html <http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html>
>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>>
>>
>> ______________________________**________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/**listinfo/r-help<https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help>
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/**
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>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>
> ______________________________**________________
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/**
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> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>



--
Thomas E Adams, III
718 McBurney Drive
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1 (513) 739-9512 (cell)

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