"Over the last ten years, Americans have gained weight; that is a bad thing. Over the last ten years the interval between the 1st (CH, Feb '03, 40-3473) and 2nd editions Yale economist Fair's Predicting has also put on weight, 50 pages to be exact, and that is a good thing. The first edition was quite good; the second was even better. . . Highly recommended." A. R. Sanderson, Choice
"This text is perfectly suited for advanced undergraduates and acts as an ideal complement to the average textbook. Too often, students don't see the forest through the trees. Traditional texts talk of OLS estimators, CRMO assumptions, hypothesis tests, etc. without giving readers much context. Fair's book gives them a reason to care about econometrics."Robert A. Lawson, Auburn University
"Economics is everywhere. Follow Ray Fair in this delightful romp through decision making by the fed, choices we make in bed, which politicians we'll shed, how to buy a good red, and the inevitable slowdown that aging marathoners dread. The data deluge that began with the microcomputer is creating a golden age of social science. And Ray Fair was among the first to discover just how tease out the fascinating stories these data are telling."Justin Wolfers, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
From the Inside Flap
What do the following events have in common? In 2000, the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was a virtual tie. The 1989 and 1990 vintages have turned out to be two of the best ever for Bordeaux wines. In 2001, the Federal Reserve lowered the interest rate eleven times. The decade of the 1970s was one of the worst on record for U.S. inflation. In 2001, the author of this book, at age 59, ran a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes, but should have been able to do it in 3 hours and 15 minutes.
This book shows clearly and simply how these diverse events can be explained by using the tools of the social sciences and statistics. It moves from a discussion of formulating theories about real world phenomena to lessons on how to analyze data, test theories, and make predictions. Through the use of a rich array of examples, the book demonstrates the power and range of social science and statistical methods.
In addition to "big" topics--presidential elections, Federal Reserve behavior, and inflation--and "not quite so big" topics--wine quality--the book takes on questions of more direct, personal interest. Who of your friends is most likely to have an extramarital affair? How important is class attendance for academic performance in college? How fast can you expect to run a race or perform some physical task at age 55, given your time at age 30? (In other words, how fast are you slowing down?) As the author works his way through an incredibly broad range of questions and topics, demonstrating the usefulness of statistical theory and method, he gives the reader a new way of thinking about many age-old concerns in public and private life.