A paper just published in PNAS finds that armed conflict in Africa in recent decades has been more likely in hotter years, and projects that warming in the next twenty years will result in roughly 54% more conflicts and almost 400,000 more battle deaths. This is an important paper and it probably will attract significant attention from the media and policymakers. I think it's a good paper too -- seems fairly solid in the empirics, nice presentation, and admirably forthright about the limitations of the study. Read more about Climate change and conflict in Africa
I went to law school before I ended up as a graduate student, so I read with some interest a recent essay by Vanderbilt Law Professor Herwig Schlunk entitled "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be...lawyers" (an online version is at the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog). Read more about (not) growing up to be a lawyer
Last Thursday, I posted about the recent government recommendations regarding breast cancer screening in women ages 40-49. At least one of you wrote me to say that one of my calculations might have been slightly off (they were), and so I did some more investigation on this issue, as well as on new recommendations on cervical pap smears. (Sorry --it took
me a few days to get around to all of this!) Read more about breast cancer, rare diseases, and bayes rule, revised
Network methods and methods for causal inference are popular areas of research in social sciences. Often they are considered separately due to a fundamental difference in their basic assumptions. Network methods assume that individual units are interdependent, that one network member's actions have consequences for other members of the network. Methods for causal inference, in contrast, often rest on the Stable Unit Treatment Value Assumption (SUTVA). Read more about Violations of SUTVA
I have been toying around with dynamic panel models from the econometrics literature and I have hit my head up against a key set of assertions. First, a quick setup. The idea with these models is that we have a set units which we measure at different points in time. For instance, perhaps we survey a group of people multiple times in the course of an election and ask them how they are going to vote, do they plan to vote, how do they rate the candidates, etc. We might then want to know how these answers vary over time or with certain covariates.