Blog Profile / Chris Blattman's Blog


URL :http://chrisblattman.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:2042
Posts / Week:4.9
Archived Since:July 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

This blogger might be the only thing that makes sense of this election season (and help you keep your sanity)

Move over Nate Silver, some of the election season’s most accurate election forecasts are coming from blogger and pundit, Carl Diggler, the fake persona created by two comedians who forecast primary winners based on their the worst caricatures...Show More Summary

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Evans, Goldstein, Jakiela, O’Sullivan, Montalvão, & Ozier, once again do an amazing job boiling down 120+ papers from Oxford’s Center for the Study of African Economies into one-sentence summaries, broken … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

How many decimals of pi do we actually need?

How many decimals does NASA use to make it’s calculations? This was a question posed to NASA engineers. The full answer is amazing. We can bring this down to home with our planet Earth. It is 7,926 miles in diameter … Continue reading ? The post How many decimals of pi do we actually need? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

One of the world’s largest cities in 1500 I’d never heard of

Situated on a plain, Benin City was enclosed by massive walls in the south and deep ditches in the north. Beyond the city walls, numerous further walls were erected that separated the surroundings of the capital into around 500 distinct … Continue reading ? The post One of the world’s largest cities in 1500 I’d never heard of appeared first on Chris Blattman.

What to do when your pre-tenure review leaves you on shaky ground

I had my third-year review in the spring of 2013, and it was rough. I wasn’t publishing enough and my future at the University of Texas at Austin was uncertain. As my very nice, very supportive chair sat across from … Continue reading ? The post What to do when your pre-tenure review leaves you on shaky ground appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The war on drugs explained by a Nixon adviser

Americans have been criminalizing psychoactive substances since San Francisco’s anti-opium law of 1875, but it was Ehrlichman’s boss, Richard Nixon, who declared the first “war on drugs” and set the country on the wildly punitive and counterproductive path it still … Continue reading ? The post The war on drugs explained by a Nixon adviser appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Please stop using “novel” and “unique” in your abstract

I love this. Three researchers picked 20 top biomedical journals and searched all titles and abstracts since 1975 for positive, negative, neutral, and random words. The absolute frequency of positive words increased from 2.0% (1974-80)...Show More Summary

Was the greatest contribution to American prosperity the resettling of refugees?

Andrew Grove died yesterday. From the New York Times obituary, the former Intel engineer and chief was “chosen Man of the Year by Time magazine as the person most responsible for the amazing growth in the power and the innovative … Continue reading ? The post Was the greatest contribution to American prosperity the resettling of refugees? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

My colleague Jeff Lax answers questions on filling the Supreme Court vacancy Retraction watch (in PLOS One): “Following publication, readers raised concerns about language in the article that makes references to a ‘Creator’, and about the overall rationale and findings … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Karl Marx’s seven habits of highly effective people?

Via Ken Opalo and Stéphane Helleringer this reportedly from a Prussian spy who visited Karl Marx in the 1850s: In private life he is an extremely disorderly, cynical human being, and a bad host. He leads the existence of a … Continue reading ? The post Karl Marx’s seven habits of highly effective people? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

IPA’s weekly links

Happy St. Patrick’s day, how about some qualitative macroeconomic research explaining Irish attitudes towards austerity? (Summary: early on, the Irish public was surprisingly accepting of austerity measures, which may come down to an Irish Catholic moral principle of “you should … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

How the GOP defeated David Duke in 1991

Back in 1991, Duke finished second to Democrat Edwin Edwards in the state’s multiparty primary. In the ensuing run-off between Duke and Edwards, GOP incumbent Buddy Roemer—the third-place finisher in the primary—endorsed Edwards, not Duke. Show More Summary

Links I liked

The madness of elite airline status (first world 1% problems) Should English be the only official language of the EU? Tim Burton confirms Beetlejuice 2 is a go A nice example of classy replication/criticism and a classy response in Science: … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Videos of the day

New Order’s “Blue Monday” played with obsolete 1930s instruments (link) And then there is this wooden hand-cranked instrument that runs on 2,000 marbles. Two “how it works” videos are here and here. Article. The post Videos of the day appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Canadian culture shock, Syrian refugee edition

The fifth annual VancouFur convention, in which people dress up as fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics, was held at the same hotel where a number of Syrian refugees are currently being housed. A message was given … Continue reading ? The post Canadian culture shock, Syrian refugee edition appeared first on Chris Blattman.

IPA’s weekly links

Following psychology’s current “repligate” and econ’s Worm Wars, I wrote a guide to how to read “debunking” news stories (including the Wu-Tang Clan rule). You can almost hear the disappointment in the American Statistical Association’s reminder for scientists on proper … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

That replication of the replication study that didn’t replicate? It doesn’t replicate.

I give up. A few days ago I posted about the psychology replication study that didn’t replicate. Apparently the replication of the replication is quite problematic. Here is a discussion fro Replication Watch, which notes independentShow More Summary

Bureaucracy is so hot right now

Governments play a central role in facilitating economic development. Yet while economists have long emphasized the importance of government quality, historically they have paid less attention to the internal workings of the state and the individuals who provide the public … Continue reading ? The post Bureaucracy is so hot right now appeared first on Chris Blattman.

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Tina Rosenberg asks in the New York Times Fixes column why the development world is so obsessed with innovation rather than spreading existing good ideas. She uses the example of the … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Remember the study showing most psychology studies don’t replicate? Turns out it doesn’t replicate.

Isn’t it ironic? A recent article by the Open Science Collaboration (a group of 270 coauthors) gained considerable academic and public attention due to its sensational conclusion that the replicability of psychological science is surprisingly low. Show More Summary

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