Como vai ser 2017

O que vai acontecer em 2017? Não faço ideia. Mas sei o que é que os participantes no concurso Previsões Económicas 2017 pensam que vai acontecer. O concurso fechou oficialmente na semana passada e, citando um título cada vez mais frequente, aquilo que as pessoas disseram vai deixá-lo de queixo caído.

Continuar a ler

Previsões Económicas para 2017 (e até para 2018)

Em 1988, Philip Tetlock lançou um desafio inusitado a analistas, pundits e simples curiosos: passar os 15 anos seguintes a fazer previsões acerca de questões da actualidade.

Foi preciso aguardar um bocadinho para se conhecer o resultado da experiência, mas a espera valeu a pena. Quando ‘abriu a caixa negra’, e contrastou as previsões com a realidade, Tetlock descobriu que «em média, a capacidade destes especialistas para preverem o futuro próximo nas matérias que dominam é semelhante à de um chimpanzé a atirar dardos a um alvo».

Não sei se o estudo envolveu algum português, mas se não envolveu devia. Todos os dias ouvimos gente na TV ou nos jornais a fazer as mais variadas previsões. Antecipam tendências de mercado, antecipam o valor do défice e “explicam” o que vai acontecer se o Governo fizer isto ou aquilo.

Mas será que as previsões se confirmam? Não faço ideia. A comunicação social pede palpites para aqueles “Especiais de 31 de Dezembro”, mas depois nunca contrasta a previsão com a realidade. E há um bocadinho de auto-crítica à mistura. De certeza que se usarem a barra de ‘search’ lá em cima vão encontrar alguma futurologia neste blogue. Até que ponto é que acerto? Sei lá – nunca me dei ao trabalho de confirmar.

A experiência de Tetlock deu-me uma ideia: por que não registar as minhas próprias previsões para os próximos anos, fechar tudo num cofre e abrir daqui a algum tempo? É uma óptima forma de perceber até que ponto sou afectado por alguns, digamos assim, self-serving bias. Bom, na verdade há um problema: dá trabalho. Não basta pensar em questões relevantes; é preciso formulá-las de maneira simples e de forma a que a respectivas respostas possam ser avaliadas sem ambiguidade. Mas, não podendo eliminar estes custos fixos, posso pelo menos dilui-los em vários inquéritos. Isto reduz drasticamente o custo médio da coisa.

E assim surge o ‘concurso’ Previsões Económicas 2017 e 2018. As regras do jogo são simples:

  • No total há dois inquéritos. Um é relativo a 2017, e tem 25 perguntas. O outro refere-se a 2018, e tem metade das questões. Ambos versam sobre economia. As respostas são de escolha múltipla, com apenas uma excepção – há direito a uma ‘previsão livre no final de cada questionário. Podem participar nos dois ou apenas num. (Dica: quem gosta de cenários apocalípticos pode preferir ‘saltar’ para 2018).
  • Cada resposta certa vale um ponto, cada resposta errada vale meio ponto negativo. “Não sei” corresponde a zero pontos. (Nota: clarificação acrescentada às 13h50 de 18/12, para esclarecer valorização relativa de cada resposta).
  • Qualquer pessoa pode participar. O inquérito pede um e-mail, o nome e a orientação política, mas na verdade só o primeiro é essencial. A questão política está lá por questões estatísticas – dá-me jeito para tratar o resultados. A razão para o nome é mais prosaica: haverá um vencedor, e preciso de um nome para o identificar. Mas a identificação pública de cada pessoa só será feita a pedido da própria. Ou seja, as respostas são confidenciais.
  • Os inquéritos estão abertos a partir de agora, e ‘fecham’ a 31 de Dezembro. Os primeiros resultados são publicados em 2018, mas até lá vou divulgando conclusões preliminares sempre que achar dados interessantes. Os participantes receberão um e-mail com a sua classificação relativa. A classificação geral não será pública, com a excepção dos participantes que forneçam indicação em sentido contrário.

Quem tiver chegado até aqui e perseverar até ao passo seguinte pode acabar por se perguntar: como é suposto eu saber se vai haver um crash bolsista até 2018? Em que me devo basear para prever um episódio de hiperinflação? E não é verdade que há prémios Nobel a dizer que é impossível bater o mercado nesta tipo de apostas?

Percebo e acompanho algumas dessas perguntas. Mas essa é a beleza da coisa. É que apesar de ser difícil antecipar eventos desta natureza, eles são regularmente previstos com certeza absoluta – ou descartados com idêntica segurança –  por muita gente. A futurologia que vejo nos media não reflecte a incerteza intrínseca a este tipo de questões, mas uma brincadeira deste género permite perceber se estas certezas são um sobproduto das pressões mediáticas, ou se aquilo que é nebuloso para os comuns mortais pode mesmo ser verdade revelada para uns poucos videntes. E haverá, claro, explicações alternativas menos reconfortantes.

O período de crispação que se vive em Portugal é particularmente apropriado para uma iniciativa deste tipo. O que é que os impostos fazem à economia? O PIB vai acelerar no próximo ano? O que vai acontecer ao Índice de Gini? Há uns anos, a maioria das pessoas responderia a isto da mesma que a uma pergunta sobre física quântica: sei lá (“e já agora, o que é isso do GINI?”). Penso que hoje é muito mais provável as mesmas perguntas gerarem respostas firmes e comprometidas.

Finalmente, como participar? Esta é fácil: basta clicar aqui para responder às perguntas de 2017 e às perguntas de 2018. Dúvidas e questões em relação à formulação das questões podem ser tiradas através deste documento ou, alternativamente, via e-mail (há um contacto no canto superior direito). O período de respostas fecha a 31 de Dezembro.

Quatro anos de blogue

Não, não é este blogue. É o Confessions of a Supply Side Liberal, um dos melhores blogues sobre macroeconomia que por aí andam – e que todos deviam mesmo, mesmo, mesmo ler. Sobretudo se tiverem alguma fixação mórbida por política monetária e não se importarem de desviar alguns minutos do vosso tempo de vida a pensar sobre coisas tão fecundas como taxas de juro negativas ou as implicações da Regra de Taylor.

Mas hoje é diferente. No quarto aniversário do blogue, o autor escreveu um meta-post  acerca do ofício.

Sometimes blogging has been hard work. I have enmeshed myself in a motivational web that makes it easy to do that hard work despite the sacrifice that sometimes represents.  But blogging is also a lot of fun, and definitely rewarding on many levels. I even feel blogging has made me smarter than I otherwise would have been, because of all of the extra thinking it has led me to do. If you have had a fraction as much fun reading my blog as I have had writing it, I have been successful.

Por que razão estou a citar o post? Em primeiro lugar, porque li, gostei e revi-me no texto. De facto, esta tem sido a minha experiência com a blogosfera: alimentar o blogue pode ser muito trabalhoso, mas no final é, por norma, recompensador. Uma coisa engraçada: o simples facto de ter de escrever sobre um assunto obriga-me a tornar mais claro para mim próprio aquilo que estou a tentar comunicar ao leitor. E não raras vezes concluo que: a) o que tenho para dizer não é especialmente relevante; b) nem sequer consigo explicar muito bem aquilo que quero dizer. E nos casos b) isso normalmente significa pus o carro à frente dos bois e comecei a escrever sobre um tema que domino muito pior do que aquilo que julgava.

E esta é a regra mais importante da blogosfera: divirtam-se com a coisa. A sério, ninguém vos vai pagar por isto; e se estão à esperar de gerar cliques pagos a escrever sobre economia, esqueçam. Se a motivação for pecuniária, é mais provável acumularem frustração do que dinheiro*.

Em segundo lugar, porque notei – e isto foi mesmo uma coincidência – que este blogue também fez quatro anos por estes dias. Não sou muito de escrever sobre efemérides (muito menos sobre uma deste género), mas linkar um post de que gostei – e fazer a referência en passant – já é outra história. Fica feita a referência.

De resto, espero que continuem todos a passar por aqui. Por muito que as caixas de comentários se cinjam a um diálogo entre mim e o Miguel Madeira, o WordPress jura a pés juntos que o blogue tem mais do que um leitor.

* Qualificação importante: sei bem que há bloggers a viver disto, mas acreditem que não escrevem sobre o PIB ou taxas de juro.

 

Levem-nos a sério

Não é que eu perca muito tempo com esta contabilidade, mas pelas minhas contas já são pelo menos cinco – cinco – os grandes temas que surgiram no debate académico norte-americano como filhos bastardos da discussão em blogues. Assim de cabeça, são pelo menos estes:

  • A monumental controvérsia sobre multiplicadores e a possibilidade de a austeridade poder ter um efeito expansionista. Tudo começou com o célebre estudo de Alesina, citado por Trichet numa conferência de imprensa. Hoje é fácil criticar a metodologia e os resultados do estudo, mas é provável que poucos se lembrem que tudo começou com uns comentários astutos (e pelos vistos entretanto apagados) no blogue do Roosevelt Institute. A partir daí, a discussão escalou no blogue do Krugman.
  • A mais-ou-menos-marginal discussão em torno dos efeitos do nível da taxa de juro na subida (ou descida?) da inflação, que ficou conhecida como a neo-fisherite proposition. Digo que é mais-ou-menos-marginal porque nos bancos centrais poucas pessoas a parecem ter levado a sério, mas foi suficientemente relevante para um dos maiores teóricos da actualidade lhe dedicar 90 páginas de equações. E onde é que começou tudo isto? No blogue de John Cochrane.
  • A polémica acerca do nível de dívida a partir do qual o crescimento económico abranda. Depois do problema com o excel, não tem faltado gente a mostrar que os resultados de Rogoff e Reinhart são no mínimo problemáticos. Mas as primeiras críticas à própria metodologia, que foram reforçadas e alargadas numa série de papers posteriores, vieram de Mike Konczal, que escreveu no blogue do Roosevelt Institute.

E de certeza que me estão a escapar muitas outras coisas. Mas só isto já bastaria para citar novamente este post do Krugman:

And I would say that in general the quality of economic discussion we’ve been having in recent years is the best I’ve ever seen. Yes, there’s junk economics out there, but when was that not true? And yes, it can be hard for lay readers – or, for that matter, for people with heavy economic credentials – to tell the junk from the real insight; but again, when wasn’t that true? As far as real, insightful, useful discussion of matters economics is concerned, this is actually a golden age.

P.S.– Para um texto semelhante, mas bastante menos polite sobre a relação entre a blogosfera e academia, podem clicar aqui.

O que querem os terroristas?

Provavelmente não podemos saber ao certo, mas podemos ir um pouco mais longe do que o ‘achismo’ típico destas alturas. O terrorismo islâmico não é tão recente quanto isso, e por esta altura já há uma dose considerável de dados compilados acerca do fenómeno. Esses dados têm inspirado vários estudos, alguns dos quais com conclusões bastante inesperado. Deixo em baixo dois dos que me parecem mais sérios, chamando a atenção para as implicações do primeiro.

The long-run effect of 9/11, de Eric Gould e Esteban Klor

Terror attacks by Islamic groups are likely to induce a backlash against the Muslim community, and therefore, tend to raise the costs of assimilation for Muslims in the West. We test this hypothesis by exploiting variation across states in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Our results show that Muslim immigrants living in states which experienced the sharpest increase in hate crimes also exhibit: (i) greater chances of marrying within their own ethnic group; (ii) higher fertility; (iii) lower female labor force participation; and (iv) lower English proficiency. Importantly, the state-level increase in hate crimes against Muslims after the 9/11 attacks was not correlated with the pre-existing state-level trend in any of these assimilation outcomes. Moreover, we do not find similar effects for any other immigrant group after the 9/11 attacks. Overall, our results show that the backlash induced by the 9/11 attacks increased the ethnic identity and demographic strength of the Muslim immigrant community in the U.S. These findings shed light on the increasing use of terror attacks on Western countries, with the concurrent rise in social and political tensions surrounding the assimilation of Muslim immigrants in several European countries.

What makes a Terrorist, de Alan Krueger:

What makes a terrorist, then, is someone with a fanatical commitment to pursuing a grievance combined with the perception that there are few alternatives available other than terrorism for pursuing that grievance – and a terrorist organisation or cell willing to deploy a would-be terrorist. This explanation is further developed in my book.  Poverty and lack of education – the explanations commonly cited by politicians including George Bush, Al Gore and Tony Blair – play very little, if any, role.  In fact, education may have the opposite effect than many people expect because more highly educated people are more likely to become involved politically and are more likely to strongly hold opinions.  Increasing educational attainment does many wonderful things for a country and its people, but I do not think the evidence suggests it brings about complete consensus in society.  If we are to address terrorism in part through education, I argue we should focus more on the content of education, not just educational attainment.

Ler também Do we know enough about terrorism?

Sete questões sobre a descida dos combustíveis

Vale a pena ir ler, no IMF direct: Seven questions about the recent oil price slump, por Olivier Blanchard e Rabah Arezki. Conclusões resumidas em baixo.

We find that both supply and demand factors have played a role in the sharp price decline since June. Futures markets suggest that oil prices will rebound but will remain below the level of recent years. There is, however, substantial uncertainty about the evolution of supply and demand factors as the story unfolds.

While no two countries will experience the drop in the same way, they share some common traits: oil importers among advanced economies, and even more so among emerging markets, stand to benefit from higher household income, lower input costs, and improved external positions. Oil exporters will take in less revenue, and their budgets and external balances will be under pressure.

Risks to financial stability have increased, but remain limited. Currency pressures have so far been limited to a handful of oil-exporting countries such as Russia, Nigeria, and Venezuela. Given global financial linkages, these developments demand increased vigilance all-round.

Oil exporters will want to smooth out the adjustment by not curtailing fiscal spending abruptly. For those without savings funds and strong fiscal rules, however, budgetary and exchange rate pressures may be significant. Without the right monetary policies, this could lead to higher inflation and further depreciation.

The fall in oil prices provides an opportunity for many countries to decrease energy subsidies and use the savings toward more targeted transfers. For others it is a chance to increase energy taxes and lower other taxes.

In the Eurozone and Japan, where demand is weak and conventional monetary policy has done most of what it can, central banks’ forward guidance is crucial to anchor medium-term inflation expectations in the face of falling oil prices.

Civismo e educação

Um bocado off-topic, mas ainda assim uma troca de opiniões que vale a pena seguir. Don’t be rude, you loser, por Noah Smith, e Wild words, brain worms and civility, por Paul Krugman – dois metaposts acerca da importância (ou não) de escrever sem ostracizar os adversários.

Noah Smith:

Sometimes, one of the parties in a debate is simply dishonest and unethical, and doesn’t really care if he or she is right or wrong. But more often, both sides deeply believe in the positions they take. The person in the wrong might be your opponent — or it might be you. Or, more realistically, it might be both. Putting red-haired people in concentration camps is obviously horrible, but most of our arguments are over things like Obamacare, or antipoverty programs, or financial regulation– issues on which reasonable people can and do disagree.

If you’re uncivil in this sort of situation — if you call your opponent an idiot, or a liar, or a nastier name simply because you think his or her argument is bad — you’re basically being overconfident. You’re assuming that there’s essentially no chance that you’re in the wrong, so it’s in the public interest for you to rail against your opponent and score points with the crowd. If you do this, there’s no chance that you yourself will learn anything from the encounter. People usually argue to win, but many times it’s possible to argue to learn.

But even if you’re arguing to win, incivility might backfire. People are naturally defensive, and they take things personally, so if you’re uncivil, they will usually (though not always) harden their position. If you want to convince the world of the merit of your ideas, then one outcome to avoid is for your opponent to leave the discussion ready to promote a bad idea even more virulently.

A third danger of incivility is that you might give your “team” a bad name. If you’re pro-Obamacare, and you fling imprecations at anyone who criticizes it, then you might contribute to the stereotype that pro-Obamacare people are vile and offensive, thus ultimately hurting the cause of Obamacare. A good example of this is the “men’s rights” movement, which sometimes makes good points, but which is known for being so abusive and aggressive that most people ignore it.

I’m not arguing that civility should be universal, or that we should dismiss uncivil arguments on the grounds of style alone. But civility has definite advantages, and these advantages are magnified when the number of civil people grows. Many arguments are a bit like thePrisoner’s Dilemma – if both people explain their positions and examine others’ positions honestly and forthrightly, in a friendly and charitable manner, then everyone benefits. The discussion contributes to the world’s overall level of understanding, and to your own. But if one person chooses to be dishonest and use the tools of rhetoric in an attempt to score points in front of an audience, then the other person has no choice but to respond either in kind, or with incivility…and the whole thing becomes a big exasperating waste of time.

So although incivility is an important tool to keep in our toolboxes, we should be very cautious about pulling it out. It’s a tough call to decide whether an idea is so awful that the only proper response is to denounce it (and its proponents) with full vitriol. In general, these cases are a lot rarer than we think. People rarely lie, and all but the worst arguments contain some grain of valuable truth. If you can’t understand how your opponent could possibly believe what they believe, odds are that you could benefit from trying harder to understand. Not always, but usually.

Paul Krugman:

First, picturesque language, used right, serves an important purpose. “Words ought to be a little wild,” wrote John Maynard Keynes, “for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking.” You could say, “I’m dubious about the case for expansionary austerity, which rests on questionable empirical evidence and zzzzzzzz…”; or you could accuse austerians of believing in the Confidence Fairy. Which do you think is more effective at challenging a really bad economic doctrine?

Beyond that, civility is a gesture of respect — and sure enough, the loudest demands for civility come from those who have done nothing to earn that respect. Noah felt (and was) justified in ridiculing the Austrians because they don’t argue in good faith; faced with a devastating failure of their prediction about inflation, they didn’t concede that they were wrong and try to explain why. Instead, they denied reality or tried to redefine the meaning of inflation.

And if you look at the uncivil remarks by people like, well, me, you’ll find that they are similarly aimed at people arguing in bad faith. I talk now and then about zombie and cockroach ideas. Zombies are ideas that should have been killed by evidence, but keep shambling along — e.g. the claim that all of Europe’s troubled debtors were fiscally irresponsible before the crisis; cockroaches are ideas that you thought we’d gotten rid of, but keep on coming back, like the claim that Keynes would never have called for fiscal stimulus in the face of current debt levels (Britain in the 1930s had much higher debt to GDP than it does now). Well, what I’m doing is going after bad-faith economics — economics that keeps trotting out claims that have already been discredited.

Nor are zombies and cockroaches the only kinds of bad faith; the worst, as far as I’m concerned, involves refusing to take responsibility for your actual statements. “The failure of high inflation to materialize doesn’t mean that I was wrong, because I only said that there was a risk of inflation”. “When I said that Obamacare spending adds a trillion dollars to the deficit, I wasn’t misleading readers, because I didn’t actually deny that the ACA as a whole reduces the deficit.” And of course, people who engage in that kind of bad faith screech loudly about civility when they’re caught at it.

When there’s an honest, good-faith economic debate — say, the ongoing controversy about the effects of quantitative easing — by all means let’s be civil. But in my experience demands for civility almost always come from people who have forfeited the right to the respect they demand.

Curvas de indiferença comportamentais

A economia comportamental já aí anda há uns anos, mas até agora tem sido encarado mais como uma compilação dispersa de descobertas interessantes do que propriamente como uma parte integrante da teoria económica mainstream. Mas isso está a mudar e pode ler-se, no Vox, uma proposta para começar a incorporá-la na microeconomia: Sticky prices and beahavioural indifference curves.

According to conventional indifference curve diagrams, when deciding between two goods – say, food and clothing – it is as though we’ve never consumed them before. Thus, we are assumed to come to the problem in a pristine state, without indicating the amount of the goods in question we consumed in the prior period or are adapted to. However, this is contradictory, because if we have not consumed these items before, how are we supposed to know how much utility we should expect from them?

Hence, the customary indifference curve depends on the implicit assumption that choices along indifference curves are reversible. That is, if an individual owns x and is indifferent between keeping it and trading it for y, then when owning y the individual should be indifferent about trading it for x. If loss aversion is present, however, this reversibility will no longer hold (Knetsch 1989, Kahneman et al. 1991). Knetsch and Sinden (1984) were the first to point out that the standard assumption pertaining to the equivalence of losses and gains is contradicted by the experimental evidence.

(…)

In sum, behavioural indifference curves are relative to a reference point. The endowment effect implies that people are willing to give up an object only at a higher price than the price at which they are willing to buy it, i.e. it is psychologically more difficult to give up an object than to acquire it. This changes the shape and properties of the indifference map, which has far-reaching implications not only in classrooms, but also in applied areas such as the evaluation of welfare states and the stickiness of economic variables such as wages, prices, and interest rates (Knetsch et al. 2012). This salient issue ought no longer to be ignored, and needs a much wider research agenda than hitherto allotted to it at the margins of the discipline.

Even at this stage it is important to incorporate behavioural indifference curves into the curriculum and stop teaching outdated concepts. If you think that behavioural indifference curves would be too complicated for beginners then I would urge you not to teach the conventional ones until the students are ready for the current version, because one should not mislead students by teaching inappropriate concepts. If the straight-talking Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918–1988) were still with us, he would concur with this view. In his famous 1974 commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, he beseeched the graduating class to practice scientific integrity, utter honesty, and to lean over backwards so as not to fool themselves (and of course others) (Feynman 1985). I believe that the same is true for us – teachers of economics, it is time to start leaning over backwards and to stop teaching the standard indifference curves.

 

A economia do futebol

Cognitive biases in football punditry, por Chris Dillow. Este é daqueles textos que nos obriga a pensar. Por um lado, é óbvio que o comentário futebolístico é animado pelos enviesamentos cognitivos mais gritantes. Por outro lado, é difícil imaginar como seria possível comentar um jogo de forma minimamente razoável. «A equipa foi goleada, mas é estatisticamente inevitável que resultados destes aconteçam de vez em quando, pelo que é prematuro fazer uma avaliação da qualidade intrínseca do plantel» é tudo o que um adepto não quer ouvir. Para serem minimamente razoáveis, os comentários teriam de ser absolutamente inodoros. Talvez uma boa dose de irracionalidade seja o preço a pagar para podermos gozar o jogo.

Football might be the world’s most popular sport, but moaning about co-commentators runs it a close second: so far, Clarke Carlisle, Andy Townsend and Phil Neville have all trended on Twitter and not in a good way.

One reason – or at least justification – for this contumely is that their judgments are often clouded by numerous cognitive biases; I’ve long suspected that Daniel Kahneman could have re-written Thinking Fast and Slow by taking examples solely from football punditry.

Here is an (incomplete) inventory of these biases:

1. Hindsight bias. How often after a player shoots wide, does Andy Townsend say he could have passed instead? It’s easy to know the right thing to do when you’ve seen what went wrong. This is especially true when discussing defences. Pointing out that the defensive shape was wrong after it conceded a goal is not good enough; the question is: did that same shape prevent many other goals? Americans call this Monday morning quarterbacking: it’s a shame there’s no English equivalent.

2. Outcome bias. Results shape our perceptions of performance. For example the Netherlands’ 5-1 defeat of Spain looks like a tonking. But their third goal might have been disallowed; their fourth was due to an unusually bad goalkeeping error and their fifth caught a demoralized side on the break. It’s a cliche – because it’s true – that football is a game of small margins, but if those margins all drop in your favour you can achieve a great result without a proportionately superior performance.

3. Misperceiving randomness. There’s always one team at a World Cup that does surprisingly well. This, though, is only to be expected. A lot of teams have a small but reasonable chance of getting to, say, the quarter-final. Across 32 teams, one of those chances is likely to turn up – just as we are likely to win a prize if we buy enough lottery tickets.

4. The hot-hand fallacy. This is a tendency to see “form” where none really exists but merely a run of luck. Take, for example, a player who scores a goal every other game – roughly Suarez’s and van Persie’s record but less that Dzeko’s. Over a 50-game career, such a player has a 50-50 chance of scoring six goals in six games. Such a run could well be enough to win him a golden boot and legendary status. A variation of this fallacy is the “commentator’s curse” – when a commentator praises a player only to see him shank a pass horribly. What happens in such cases is that an in-game run of luck suddenly stops.

5. Bayesian conservatism. Once we’ve got an idea that a team or player is rubbish, we interpret evidence to back up this idea; this is seen in co-commentators repeating themselves. My prior is that Diego Costa is a nasty cheating traitor who will therefore fit in well at Chelsea; I doubt this will change.

6. Selective perception. This is closely related to conservatism. It’s our tendency to notice evidence that supports our priors more than evidence that contradicts it. So if we have an idea that someone is a good player, we’ll spot his good points more than his bad; this is especially likely because so much of what players do (or don’t do) happens when they don’t have the ball; do they make good runs, or track back well?

7. Over-reaction. For example, Uruguay looked poor last night. Is this because they are a genuinely mediocre side (as their qualifying recordsuggests) or is it because they had an off-day? We can’t tell for sure on the basis of 90 minutes. If we do so, we might well be over-reacting.

8. Overconfidence. Everyone thinks their opinions on football are the correct ones, in part because we underweight our vulnerablity to all of the above; this is the Dunning-Kruger effect. One example of this is that many of us are backing Brazil to win the cup. But in fact, although they are favourites the smart money thinks there’s a 75% chance they won’t win.

Of course, cognitive biases aren’t necessarily wrong; indeed, they persist precisely because they sometimes (often) lead us to the right conclusion. And sometimes, they can cancel out; for example, Bayesian conservatism offsets over-reaction. My point is merely that one reason why pundits so often annoy us is that they are prone to such biases – and, of course, we are morely likely to see such biases in others than in ourselves.

 

Dinheiro e sentido de voto

Mais um artigo interessante no Vox. Os autores fazem um estudo inédito em que seguem as preferências políticas de vários eleitores, alguns dos quais ganharam a lotaria. Aparentemente, quanto maiores forem os valores ganhos, maior a tendência para a preferência política se enviesar progressivamente para a direita. Money makes people right-wing and inegalitarian, por Andrew Oswald e Nattavudh Powdthavee.

We are able to observe people before and after a win. Access to longitudinal information gives us advantages denied to most previous researchers on this topic. One reason this is important is because it seems plausible that personality might determine both the number of lottery tickets bought and the political attitudes of the person, and this might thereby lead to a possible spurious association between winning and right-leaning views. We provide, among other kinds of evidence, a simple graphical demonstration that winners disproportionately lean to the right having previously not been right-wing supporters.

(…)

The consequences of winning even a modest sum of money are fairly large – certainly a number of percentage points extra on your chances of favouring a Mrs Thatcher or a Ronald Regan. Thus money makes people right-wing and inegalitarian. Perhaps even you.