Lessons & Questions on: E


Distribution of Risk: J-Curves

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My new favorite term from epidemiology: J-Curve. Distribution matters, even with something as shades-of-grey as risk. For instance, yhere’s a lot of things that increase your mortality in a more-or-less linear way. The more you smoke, the greater your all-cause mortality risk, for example. This isn’t to say you increase your chance of death by […]

Mind the Edges: Unemployment by College Major

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In the COMPARABLE framework the “E” is for “Edges”, and part of the “question of edges” is whether there are significant subpopulations. In the case of unemployment of recent college grads, the answer is yes: The center would tell you only that the average unemployment for college grads is about 9%. But the lowest rates […]


Questions: Student Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Card Debt

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Read the following comparison: Consumers now owe more on their student loans than their credit cards. Americans owe some $826.5 billion in revolving credit, according to June 2010 figures from the Federal Reserve. (Most of revolving credit is credit-card debt.) Student loans outstanding today — both federal and private — total some $829.785 billion, according to Mark […]

Top and Bottom Quintile

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In the COMPARABLE framework, the “Question of Edges” is a placeholder to remind us that measures of central tendency such as mean, median, and mode are helpful, but only tell us so much. One way to get a sense of the distribution of values is to use quintiles. With quintiles, we start out by imagining […]


Activity: Law Salaries

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The graph above shows salaries of 2006 graduates of law school as measured in 2007. 1. The study did not include people out of work. How might the graph shape change if it included people out of work? Would the median salary be lower or higher? 2. Look up the term “bimodal distribution”. Does this […]