Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nate Silver about the World Cup and Piketty

The star statistician Nate Silver predicts that Brazil will win the World Cup. He does not say that this is a certainty, but that the odds of Brazil winning, after applying a forecasting model of his invention, are higher than the odds that professional bettors are using in the market. The forecasting model will be updated as the World Cup progresses. We'll be able to test whether Nate Silver is as good forecasting soccer as he has been forecasting elections. He also has a recent post on the controversy between Piketty and the Financial Times. Although he does not go into the details of the controversy, he has interesting thoughts on the relationship between data and economic research. He argues that economic data is inherently difficult to compile, and that you do not need to wait until you have perfect data to report about some sort of research conclusions. He also says that peer review should not finish with publication, but should be a sort of indefinite process. He reveals that he is not a leftist, which perhaps prevents him from reaching the conclusion that you don't need a perfect dataset or a perfect theory to make bold and necessary policy proposals, like those made by Piketty.

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