Guinnessometrics

 

What is Guinnessometrics?

cropped-St-Jamess-Gate-Guinness-Gosset-Centenary-Ziliak-2008.jpg                              A refreshing alternative to random experiments.                                                                                                                                       

To hear the main story, read Guinnessometrics: The Economic Foundation of Student’s t, Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2008)

To hear about the leading role that fermentation has played in scientific discovery – including oxygen, hello! – and how a brewer found through repeated experimentation that large scale randomized trials are nothing to boast about, read  W.S. Gosset and Some Neglected Concepts of Experimental Statistics: Guinnessometrics II, Journal of Wine Economics (Winter 2011)

Leading experimental economists, such as Steve Levitt and John List, have not grasped the point.  See Ziliak’s  Balanced versus Randomized Field Experiments in Economics: Why W.S. Gosset aka ‘Student’ Matters, Review of Behavioral Economics 1 (1, Jan. 2014).   (Final) Balanced vs Randomized Field Experiments  Ziliak Rev Behavioral Economics 2014

Some of our top biometricians stand committed to the flawed approach made rote by Fisher.   See, for example, my essay in The Lancet and reply to Stephen Senn:  The Validus Medicus and a New Gold Standard (The Lancet, 2010); Significant Errors – Reply to Stephen Senn (The Lancet, 2010)

Guinnessometrics can improve the precision, efficiency, and ethics of any statistically-based study, including field experiments in economics, medicine, and drug trials.  See, for example,  The Unprincipled Randomization Principle in Economics and Medicine, by Stephen T. Ziliak and Edward R. Teather-Posadas, is forthcoming in the Oxford University Press Handbook on Professional Economic Ethics (New York: OUP, 2014), edited by George DeMartino and Deirdre N. McCloskey.  Here is the pdf:  The Unprincipled Randomization Principle_ Ziliak Teather-Posadas_ Oxford (March 29 2014)

William Sealy Gosset aka Student

Read more about Gosset and Guinnessometrics in the Feb. 8, 2012 issue of The Washington Post, “Guinness’s Big Contribution to Economics Research;” in the Feb. 9, 2012 issue of Chicago Magazine, “Guinnessometrics: Saving Science and Statistics with Beer;” in the Feb. 8, 2012 “Recommended economics writing,” at The Economist; in “The Statistical Significance of Beer,” at Freakonomics; “Beer and Stats,” at The University of Michigan Press Blog; “We Know Now,” at The Irish Times, “In the News,” at the American Association of Wine Economists, and “Beerometrics: Econometrics and the Science of Beer,” at Beeronomics.

Steve Ziliak, after giving his "Guinnessometrics" lecture at the centenary celebration of "Student's" t-test, July 2008

Steve Ziliak, after giving his “Guinnessometrics” lecture at the centenary celebration of “Student’s” t-test, IBC/ISA July 2008

Pre-publication version reviewed by: Andrew Leonard, Celebrate the History of Statistics: Drink a Guinness – How a Master Brewer Forged New Ground in the Quantitative Progress of Science,” Salon, Sept. 28, 2009; see also: The Economist, “Guinness is Good For You, If You’re a Statistician” (Sept. 28, 2009) and Mark Thoma’s Economist’s View, “250 Years of Clever Counting” (Sept. 27, 2009).

Tim Harford (aka “The Undercover Economist”),Enlightened Research Fueled By The Dark Stuff,” Financial Times, Feb. 7, 2009.

Tim Harford,Statistical Significance,” BBC Radio 4, “More or Less” program, interview, Feb. 2, 2009.

Significance article: “Statistical Significance on Trial,” by Stephen T. Ziliak: Matrixx v Siracusano and Student v Fisher _ Ziliak 2011

 Guinness Storehouse, Barley Room: Steve Ziliak with Gosset's grandchildren, Dermot Roaf and Jane (Roaf) Galbraith, at the Gosset commemorative plaque hanging ceremony, Dublin, Ireland, July 2008

Guinness Storehouse, Barley Room: Steve Ziliak with Gosset’s grandchildren, Dermot Roaf and Jane (Roaf) Galbraith, at the Gosset commemorative plaque hanging ceremony, Dublin, Ireland, July 2008

                 Read more at “The Validus Medicus and a New Gold Standard,” The Lancet (July 2010), by Stephen T. Ziliak.  And my reply to Stephen Senn: “Significant errors-Author Reply,” The Lancet (October 2010).

Plaque in honor of Gosset and his Student's t-test.  It hangs in the Barley Room of the Guinness Storehouse Museum, Dublin.  Can you spot any errors on the plaque? Gosset did not work as a chemist; he was "Head Brewer," not chief; and since his pen name was "Student" his test is called "Student's" t-test.  Photo by Steve Zilialk

                New article by Ziliak and McCloskey on the ethics of statistical significance and a recent Supreme Court case:  Lady Justice v. Cult of Statistical Significance: Oomph-less Science and the New Rule of Law, forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook on Professional Economic Ethics (OUP, 2014), edited by G. DeMartino and D.N. McCloskey

"This statistical significance always works and always doesn't work."  - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Matrixx v. Siracusano Oral Arguments, January 2011.

“This statistical significance always works and always doesn’t work.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Matrixx v. Siracusano Oral Arguments, January 2011.

              Article (with D. N. McCloskey) on Gosset, Fisher, and Bayesian statistics in biology and especially medicine:  The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Fisherian Tests in Biology, and Especially in Medicine,” Biological Theory 4(1, 2009): 44-53.  Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, The MIT Press.

                  Keynote Lecture: “Guinnessometrics: Lovely Day for a Regression,”  European Historical Economics Society Conference, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 3, 2011.

Steve Ziliak with Gosset family and the President of the Irish Statistical Association. Geoff Phillpotts, Jane (Roaf) Galbraith, Dermot Roaf, and Anthony Kinsella, after the conference on 100 years of Student's t-distribution and test of statistical significance, University College Dublin, July 2008.

Steve Ziliak with Gosset family and the President of the Irish Statistical Association. Gregory Phillpotts, Jane (Roaf) Galbraith, Dermot Roaf, and Anthony Kinsella, after the IBC/ISA session on 100 years of Student’s t-distribution and test of statistical significance, University College Dublin, July 2008.

Blue plaque in Canterbury, near Gosset's birth home. But Gosset is spelled with one t - as in one "t distribution"! Photo credit: Marc Lassagne, 2012

Blue plaque in Canterbury, near Gosset’s birth home. But Gosset is spelled with one t – as in one “t distribution”! I hope the city will replace the mistaken plaque with a corrected one.  Photo credit: Marc Lassagne, 2012

This plaque in honor of William Sealy Gosset aka "Student" is displayed at Student's family home of many years, in Monkstown, Dublin, Ireland.

This plaque in honor of William Sealy Gosset aka “Student” is displayed at Student’s family home of many years: “Hollyville Park,” in Monkstown, Dublin, Ireland.  Here he hosted Karl Pearson, E.S. Beaven, R.A. Fisher, Jerzy Neyman and many others who traveled to Ireland to observe first-hand the great experimentalist’s work.

                  Read more at: The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives (University of Michigan Press, 2008), by Stephen T. Ziliak and Deirdre N. McCloskey.

Photo by Steve Ziliak, July 16, 2008

Photo by Steve Ziliak, July 14, 2008

Post office in Dublin, St. James's Gate, used by Gosset to correspond with Karl Pearson, Fisher, Egon Pearson, Neyman, and many others.  Photo by Steve Ziliak, Sept. 2011

Post office in Dublin, St. James’s Gate, used by Gosset to correspond with Karl Pearson, Fisher, Egon Pearson, Neyman, and many others. Photo by Steve Ziliak, Sept. 2011

                Read more at “Field Experiments in Economics: Comment on an Article by Levitt and List,” CREATES Research Paper 2011-25, by Stephen T. Ziliak.   Aarhus University, Denmark, Center for Research in Econometric Analysis of Time Series.

               And, by Stephen T. Ziliak and Deirdre N. McCloskey: “The Cult of Statistical Significance,” Proceedings of the Joint Statistical Meetings (American Statistical Association), Washington, DC, August 2009.

At the July 2008 meetings of the International Biometric Society and Irish Statistical Association, David Cox  (pictured here), Stephen Senn, James Hanley, and Stephen Ziliak (pictured here) gave their presentations on Gosset to an audience of over 300 statisticians.  Some time after the conference Burko Jovanovich told the ASA Chicago Chapter that standing next to the white-haired Cox and others, I "looked at first like a kid wandering around the British Museum."

At the July 2008 meetings of the International Biometric Society and Irish Statistical Association, Sir David Cox (pictured here), Stephen Senn, James Hanley, and Stephen Ziliak (pictured here) gave lectures on Gosset to an audience of over 300 statisticians. About a year later, Burko Jovanovic, as President, introduced me to the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association.  He was in Dublin, and saw me, and he told the audience in Chicago about me standing next to Sir David, Senn, and others, that I “looked, at first, like a kid wandering around the British Museum.” (Burko Jovanovic, November 17 2009, East Bank Club, Chicago).