How to Discover the Truth with Statistics

Regular readers may remember my post, “How to Lie with Statistics,” where I criticized ASU economist Richard Rogerson for misleading the public with bad math. I showed the nonsense in his claim “that raising taxes will turn us into a bunch of lazy old Europeans.”

Since I’m going to be writing about taxes a lot this week, now is a good time to show how a responsible statistician approaches this issue. The following is a summary of two excellent posts by University of Arizona political scientist Lane Kenworthy.   Continue reading “How to Discover the Truth with Statistics”

How to Lie with Statistics

What would you conclude if I showed you the following graph?

If you know how to read a scatterplot, you’d probably say that changes in the tax rate have no effect on the number of hours worked. If you follow economic policy debates, you might be surprised by this graph because it contradicts a very common belief: Europe is less productive than the U.S. because their taxes are higher.

But I didn’t show you the whole graph. Here’s how it really looks:   Continue reading “How to Lie with Statistics”