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May 02, 2006

Comments

dearieme

"raises suicide rates": not "is associated with higher suicide rates"? Correlation = cause, eh? Perhaps suicides cause inequality, then? Maybe I've become too fond of this, but 'In social science, data is the plural of bollock.'

Alex

errrrr....

Correlation only implies causation if you can propose a plausible mechanism for such causation. Layard's theory is arguably such a mechanism.

What was your point again?

chris

"Data is the plural of bollock" - except when they corroborate our prejudices.

dearieme

"Correlation only implies causation if you can propose a plausible mechanism": you'll have to do better than that, or accept the argument of the wag who said that global warming was caused by demography - all those female baby-boomers having hot flushes.

dearieme

Got it. The inequality means that rich business types in late middle age are able to land young trophy wives, thus causing younger, poorer men to have a lower standard of happiness - both from spouse-deprivation and from envy - and thus be more prone to top themselves. Any evidence that suicide is commoner among men, and particularly among men a couple of years older than the average bimbo? The degree of inequality in the top tail is crucial because it's wealth that allows convex older guys to attract concave younger women.

Tim Worstall

Surely desirability in women depends not on covexity or concavity but on the location of such?

Chris Williams

Suicide rates are related to opportunity. Someone worked this out by doing a regional breakdown during the period when the UK was converting from coal gas - the suicidal housewife's best mate - to North Sea gas. This probably also has some effect on the higher sucide rates among farmers and medical workers: it's easier for them.

So the lowering of the UK suicide rate since the 1970s (although I'm rather sceptical of headline rates like this) may well be accounted for in part by changes in opportunity.

Alex

"Correlation only implies causation if you can propose a plausible mechanism": you'll have to do better than that, or accept the argument of the wag who said that global warming was caused by demography - all those female baby-boomers having hot flushes.

Posted by: dearieme | May 02, 2006 at 04:08 PM


Is that the real dearieme or a parody troll? Still, I'll bite. That's not a plausible mechanism. 2-0.

NewDearieme

Hot flushes are a more plausible mechanism than CO2: absorption phenomena are logarithmic not exponential.

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