Thursday, April 1, 2010
FiveThirtyEight: Analysis Done Right
Link to April 1 FiveThirtyEight post, "Study Claiming Link Between Stimulus Funding and Partisanship is Manifestly Flawed".
Excerpt: A study purporting to find a connection between stimulus spending and the partisanship of a district suffers from an obvious flaw. But in so doing, it provides an example of why it's important to retain some common sense -- and some sense of context -- when conducting a statistical analysis.
At this point, it ought to be pretty obvious what is going on. The three districts receiving the largest amount of stimulus funds are home to the capitals of the three largest states -- New York, California, and Texas. Let's pause for a moment and make a bold prediction. I'll bet you that the district that ranks 4th on the list will contain the capital of the 4th largest state, Florida.
Bingo. Up 4th on the list is Florida's 2nd Congressional, home to Tallahassee.