Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dems Make Econ Grow Faster AKA me pretending to do resarch

I recently read/saw two econs saying that Democrat presidents make the economy grow faster (Alan Blinder in the NYT, and Laura D'Andrea Tyson on The Colbert Report). I was bored, so here's a little regression of 1948-2007 annual real US GSP growth on the number of Democratic senators, reps, and presidents to entertain you (chained is the BEA's real gdp growth using chained 2000 dollars, dsen is the number of Dem Senators, dhouse is Dem House member, and dwh is a Dem prez. Please ignore autocorrelation, endogeneity, omitted variables, and the whole host of other problems.) Of course, spacing is retarded since HTML doesn't recognize multiple consecutive spaces.

reg chained dsen dhouse dwh, robust

Linear regression Number of obs = 60
F( 3, 56) = 2.55
Prob > F = 0.0645
R-squared = 0.1259
Root MSE = 2.2329

| Robust
chained | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
dsen | -.0335854 .0690005 -0.49 0.628 -.17181 .1046391
dhouse | .0194278 .0156595 1.24 0.220 -.011942 .0507976
dwh | 1.466665 .627477 2.34 0.023 .2096777 2.723653
_cons | -.1978744 2.13128 -0.09 0.926 -4.46734 4.071592

Interpreted, that means there's nothing statistically significant going on with the house or senate, but a democratic president has been associated with 1.47 percentage points higher annual GDP growth, and there's only a 2.3% chance that that's just statistical noise.

If anyone wants to teach me Perl or Python so that I can automate the process of getting the vote totals from every single AL and NL MLB MVP award since 1911 (including 1991, my favorite example) and the career stats for every player that ever received votes, I'm all ears.

If anybody has any ideas about what question I could answer using forest fires as a natural experiment, I'm all ears.


  1. Forest fires - The cost to tax payers of fighting forest fires per state per month per year? Though not sure what data is available... But just think..many use those helicopters dumping water.. that costs beaucoup...manpower many working overtime...equipment...etc.

    Or economic effect of a forest fire on a given community. Of course here in Maine forest fires are rather rare, and certainly in CA you'd have more data to play with... just some thoughts :)

  2. Running question..

    I heard a ridiculous claim that atomic fireballs can help you on a run. I said "Poppycock!"... until I ran my triathalon this weekend..
    low and behold... definitely gave me a boost - and I am not counting the fact I had an issue unwrapping it while running *L*

    Apparently, the reasoning is that it has nitrates that open up your blood vessels.. your thoughts??