Blog Archives

Simulating Persian Monarchs gameplay by @ellis2013nz

December 22, 2018
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Simulating Persian Monarchs gameplay by @ellis2013nz

‘I can teach you in a minute…’ In a recent post I simulated some simple dice games and promised (or threatened) that this was the first of a series of posts about games of combined luck and chance. The main aim of that post was to show how even ...

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Number of births in the twentieth century by @ellis2013nz

November 30, 2018
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Number of births in the twentieth century by @ellis2013nz

Motivation A couple of weeks back, Branko Milanovic asked on Twitter : “Does anyone know a link to a calculation on how many people were born … in the entire 20th century?” Somewhat surprisingly, no-one did. However, there was a calculatio...

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Counting digits by @ellis2013nz

November 23, 2018
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Counting digits by @ellis2013nz

Counting digits appearing in page numbers The other day in a training session, the facilitators warmed people up into intellectual work with this group exercise: Count the number of times the digit “1” appears in the page numbers of a 90 page book. Then, count the number of times it appears in the page numbers of a 2,000 page book. (Actual...

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A more systematic look at suppressed data by @ellis2013nz

November 17, 2018
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A more systematic look at suppressed data by @ellis2013nz

Last week I blogged about some different ways of dealing with data in a cross tab that has been suppressed as a means of disclosure control, when the count in a cell is less than six. I tried simple replacement of those cells with “3”, two differen...

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Suppressed data (left-censored counts) by @ellis2013nz

November 5, 2018
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Suppressed data (left-censored counts) by @ellis2013nz

This is a post about dealing with tables that have been subject to cell suppression or perturbation for confidentiality reasons. While some of the data world is only just waking up to issues of confidentiality and privacy, national statistics offices ...

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Simulating simple dice games by @ellis2013nz

October 26, 2018
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Simulating simple dice games by @ellis2013nz

A necessary but not sufficient condition for a game being one of skill rather than pure chance is that the player gets to make choices. If the game play is fully automatic, as in standard Snakes and Ladders, then there cannot possibly be any skill involved. However, any game of pure chance can be converted to one of skill simply...

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Understanding the limitations of group-level inequality data by @ellis2013nz

October 6, 2018
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Understanding the limitations of group-level inequality data by @ellis2013nz

A critical tweet the other day by Nicolas Sommet reminded me of the book The Spirit Level: Why Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better”. That book argues that: “…there are ‘pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust...

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Sri Lanka visitor arrivals by @ellis2013nz

September 25, 2018
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Sri Lanka visitor arrivals by @ellis2013nz

So I’ve been holidaying in Sri Lanka for a while now, and thought I would do a brief blog post using some public tourism data. Tourism has grown rapidly in Sri Lanka since the civil war finished in 2009. Travelling around, it’s easy to see why....

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Rents in Melbourne by @ellis2013nz

August 30, 2018
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Rents in Melbourne by @ellis2013nz

Motivation So, I’m in the process of moving to Melbourne and have a personal interest in the rental market there. But I’m also more generally interested in the economics of housing. Purchase costs get most of the attention, but rental costs are ...

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Estimating relative risk in a simulated complex survey by @ellis2013nz

August 23, 2018
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Estimating relative risk in a simulated complex survey by @ellis2013nz

In this post I simulate a population and a complex survey of it. The survey has stratification, two-stage sampling and post-collection calibration to marginal population totals. The original idea was to follow up on last week’s post on relative ris...

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