tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post1374805325230599490..comments2017-03-05T14:23:10.652+00:00Comments on The Spirit Level Delusion: The Spirit Level has been debunked. More or less.Christopher Snowdonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15963753745009712865noreply@blogger.comBlogger9125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-1454873803040796202013-01-02T14:46:26.768+00:002013-01-02T14:46:26.768+00:00Kawachi's study does mention women's statu...Kawachi's study does mention women's status and inequlity, though it was only a minor point:<br /><br />3.2.4. Relationships of women's status indicators to men's health, 1st paragaph:<br /><br />"These correlations may partly reflect the fact that gender inequalities are manifestations of general inequalities. For example, the indices for female political participation and economic autonomy were both correlated (r=−0.49 and −0.36, respectively) with the Gini coefficient of income inequality (although neither the index of women's employment and earnings (r=−0.14) nor reproductive rights (r=−0.08) were correlated with the Gini index)"Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-52190317620392033042011-10-05T13:01:56.616+01:002011-10-05T13:01:56.616+01:00I understood your point the first time. I should ...I understood your point the first time. I should have explained more fully. <br /><br />If the aim is to imagine that these four countries are a superstate with a single homicide rate, you're quite correct. The population of this superstate would be 90% Japanese and so naturally Japan's low homicide rate would drag down the rest.<br /><br />That's not the issue Harford was looking at. He was testing the very specific claim that if the UK had a level of equality equal to Japan, Norway, Finland and Sweden, it would have a 75% lower homicide rate. To answer that, he did what The Spirit Level quite rightly does and gave each datapoint a value of 1. Population size does not affect either inequality or homicide so there is no reason to factor it in. In other words, the homicide rate in little Finland must be given equal weight to the homicide rate in big Japan. <br /><br />And so, although a + b + c + d divided by 4 does not give you the homicide rate per million in an hypothetical superstate in which Scandinavians are a small ethnic minority, it does answer the question Harford was addressing of how one country compares to four countries.Snowdonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15963753745009712865noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-35849256000575817682011-10-05T11:09:48.345+01:002011-10-05T11:09:48.345+01:00We're not talking about individual countries h...We're not talking about individual countries here, we are talking about an average of a group of countries (Finland, Japan, Norway & Sweden). You are calculating an average of averages. By taking a simple mean of the four country's homicide rates you are giving equal weight to each of them, even though they are have very different populations. This matters a lot when their rates are so different (Finland's homicide rate is over five times that of Japan).<br /><br />To calculate the average for the four countries you need to add up the number of homicides in each country and then divide by the sum of the populations.<br /><br />Think of it this way - imagine you have two groups of people, Group A has 100 people in it and their average age is 70 years, Group B has 5 people in it and their average age is 10 years. So, what is the average age of the two groups? By your reckoning it should be (70 + 10)/2 = 40 years. Now, imagine you put the two groups together in the same room, would it look like the average age of those 105 people is 40 years? The true average age is (70 x 100 + 10 x 5)/(100 + 5) = 7050/1005 = 67.1 years.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-77138040726238482632011-10-04T19:49:31.877+01:002011-10-04T19:49:31.877+01:00No, that's not how it works. Countries are not...No, that's not how it works. Countries are not weighted by population in The Spirit Level (quite rightly). Harford's calculation is quite correct.Snowdonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15963753745009712865noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-57471503858894501242011-10-04T16:02:50.455+01:002011-10-04T16:02:50.455+01:00Your calculation of the mean homicide rate is comp...Your calculation of the mean homicide rate is completely flawed. You are giving equal weight to countries of vastly different populations - Japan has a population of around 127 million whereas Finland's population is around 5 million. What you need to do is calculate the population weighted mean - this would give an average homicide rate of around 7 homicides per million, well below UK's rate of 15 per million.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-34434677333486349362011-03-17T18:51:46.571+00:002011-03-17T18:51:46.571+00:00Wealth inequality is also a problem in the U.S, a ...Wealth inequality is also a problem in the U.S, a bit worse than the U.K.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-8581412027903605552011-01-02T10:42:50.644+00:002011-01-02T10:42:50.644+00:00An important variable - almost always overlooked, ...An important variable - almost always overlooked, is IQ.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-48947047116463114872010-09-29T11:05:47.538+01:002010-09-29T11:05:47.538+01:00Wilkinson and Pickett used the average for 1990-20...Wilkinson and Pickett used the average for 1990-2000 (as did Harford, presumably). Their figures can be downloaded from the Equality Trust website and they show (per million):<br /><br />Finland:28.20<br />Norway: 9.70<br />Sweden: 18.70<br />Japan: 5.20<br /><br />= Average: 15.45 <br /><br />UK: 15.00 per millionSnowdonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15963753745009712865noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4761750297977694004.post-34904588666769572782010-09-29T06:37:04.085+01:002010-09-29T06:37:04.085+01:00Homicide stats from same source (UN)
UK (England+W...Homicide stats from same source (UN)<br />UK (England+Wales) 1.2<br />SW 0.9<br />NO 0.6<br />FI 2.5<br />DK 1.2<br /><br />The average of the 4 countries = 1.1, which is still below UK. If we were to include Scotland and Northern Ireland, the UK would be even higher. (Scotland 2.2, Northern Ireland 14.) So, how did TH get his numbers?John Lhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11816312862251491357noreply@blogger.com