De Econometrist neemt een statistische kijk op de wereld.
In economics, one of the first assumptions we are taught is that we are dealing with rational actors. The idea that people make rational and well-considered decisions. But in life, this almost never seems to be the case. When we look around us in the world, we see experts ignoring certain facts, authorities making the wrong decisions, and skillful professionals misinterpreting results. Even the people who teach us these principles make decisions in real-life that seem far from rational. We may ask ourselves: Why do the smartest people still make the dumbest mistakes? Smart people […]
Most of you have probably heard about it in the news lately: the Bitcoin price is reaching new highs, which have never been seen before. This is mainly due to the fact that several financial firms have announced that they will invest their money into bitcoin. Other firms have predicted that the bitcoin price will increase, some saying even that it will reach $146K before the end of 2021. This is quite interesting considering the fact that bitcoin is a relatively new asset, and most people think this is pure speculation. That is not so […]
Testing has been quite a significant subject during this pandemic. Around 30.000 people a day are being tested in the Netherlands alone, so it is quite important that such a test can accurately predict whether someone actually has the disease. However, an accurate test is not always as predictive as you would like. This phenomenon is also known as “the medical test paradox”. Bayes’ rule The medical test paradox is an example that is quite often used to introduce Bayes’ rule. In Bayesian statistics, the interpretation of probability is expressed as a degree of […]
At first, you may think that mathematics has nothing to do with Christmas. The only link I could think of was calculating whether you have enough budget to buy that all those present for your family. However, mathematicians will always think of a way to integrate mathematics and thus, also for Christmas. One of the most popular applications of mathematics to Christmas is analyzing the song “Twelve Days of Christmas”. In this song, a surprising mathematical pattern is used to find out how many presents the singer receives during the twelve days of Christmas. Furthermore, […]
5 years ago, the world united in a way that it had almost never seen before: in Paris, on the 12th of december 2015, 196 countries agreed on tackling climate change and limiting global warming at the end of this age by a max of 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. However, the optimism didn’t last long. With Trump stepping out of the agreement, international collaboration reducing and the earth heating up by 1.2 degrees Celsius already, the UN has ringed all arm bells. It claims it is crucial to cut our emissions by […]
Nowadays, research in many fields involves statistics. Whether it comes down to a government’s decisions on measures fighting a pandemic or the Red Bull formula 1 racing team deciding on whether Verstappen should swap tires in the next lap, it sounds like a good idea to back the decision with statistics. For a fair amount of time, appliance of statistics has seemed one of the most irrefutable means of proving a claim or, in other situations, coming to the right conclusion. In their essence, statistics seem, when employed properly, to be telling the story as-is, […]
Every year during New Year’s Eve a lot of fireworks are being fired. Even though this is a very old tradition and brings many people great joy, it also brings us nuisance, injuries, and damage costs. This year, the government decided to prohibit all fireworks during New Year’s Eve 2020-2021, due to the circumstances around Covid-19. It is not yet certain whether this prohibition will be continued for the years after 2021, but more and more people are becoming an advocate of prohibiting fireworks. In this article, I will explain both arguments for and against […]
“Since we do not have up-to-date information on your order, we do not know whether or not it has arrived.” You or any of your acquaintances have probably received an email containing such a sentence. Due to the combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Friday and Sinterklaas package delivery services had one of its worst weeks of all time. People start to wonder how these services are still so lacking in this modern world. However, never underestimate the power of the courier industry. Sending data Suppose you want to send a humongous amount of […]
299,792,458 metres per second. That is the speed of light as we concluded ourselves. Even the definition of a metre is based on this. One metre namely is equal to the distance light travels in 1/ 299,792,458 of a second. Even though this sounds like a joke, as it is so straightforward, it is actually true. It shows that we are really sure about the speed at which light travels. However, should we be so sure that this number is correct? The answer should be no, as we actually do not know the “one-way” speed […]
If you are a basketball fan, you are probably familiar with the term: the hot hand. This is often used when a player is on a scoring streak and it seems likely that he will also score the next point. He is very confident, he feels good, and therefore it seems like his hand is just “on fire”. Former Chicago Bulls coach Doug Collins famously told about their tactic at the end of the match when Michael Jordan was doing well: “Get the ball to Michael and everybody get the f*** out of the way”. […]
It is almost that time of the year again: Black Friday. The day were most of us spend a lot of money (almost 90% more than usual) on presents for ourselves, friends, and relatives. A day which is well-known for its raging hordes of Black Friday shoppers. We have all seen the extreme videos were usually well-behaved individuals act like animals. The men and woman who run down the escalators at full speed and try to grab whatever they can on their way to the checkout desk. Interestingly, due to COVID-19, this year’s Black Friday […]
Risk has been one of the most beloved board games since its release more than sixty years ago. With this classic board game, a fun evening with your friends or family can soon turn into an hours-long war where alliances are forged, troops are lost and battles are won. This family game has brought a lot of joy as well as quarrels and has produced many victors over the years. But what exactly is the best way to conquer the world? Is there a way to ensure your victory? In this article I will […]
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