Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Apologies for the lack of posts. I'll tell you what I've been doing, but be prepared, the description is soporific.

I've been working on a project on Tajikistan. My advisor and I have a revise and resubmit to Feminist Economics which is highly ironic. The journal is seen as fairly low ranking among most economists (I think). What does this mean? Well, it means that when you are putting a journal article that was published there on your "brag sheet" that the people in your department think to themselves "I'll count this but I KNOW it was an easy pub so in my heart, I'll really discount it. . . ."

And why does THAT matter? Well, discounts over time add up to possibly not getting promoted or getting less of an increase in your pay check.


The problem is that the topic we're looking into -- maternal health (which is, by the way an important component of the Millenium Development Goals) -- is perfectly suited for that particular journal.

So the irony? It ends up being a REALLY difficult journal to get into.

Once we were working on a project on the Czech Republic. We sent it off to the best journal on the topic of transition economics. Got a revise and resubmit. Revised and resubmitted and then got a rejection. Then we went on to Feminist Economics. Same story.

And yes, that was many months of work for an outright ultimate rejection.

So here we are again.

I've been working on preparing the latest data released from Tajikistan (seriously). Which has entailed writing some code on household expenditures that is normally already provided by the World Bank but in this case is not yet ready.

So this is an example of what ended up being a 19 page document that took me a bunch of time (hence no blogging):

gen xpot= m10q6b if code_pro == 862
egen hhxpot = mean(xpot), by(hhid)
gen xpot_mo = (hhxpot*52)/12
lab var xpot_mo "monthly exp on potatoes"

gen xtom= m10q6b if code_pro == 863
egen hhxtom = mean(xtom), by(hhid)
gen xtom_mo = (hhxtom*52)/12
lab var xtom_mo "monthly exp on tomatoes"

gen xcar= m10q6b if code_pro == 864
egen hhxcar = mean(xcar),by(hhid)
gen xcar_mo = (hhxcar*52)/12
lab var xcar_mo "monthly exp on carrots"

gen xcab= m10q6b if code_pro == 865
egen hhxcab = mean(xcab), by(hhid)
gen xcab_mo = (hhxcab*52)/12
lab var xcab_mo "monthly exp on cabbage"

gen xcau= m10q6b if code_pro == 866
egen hhxcau = mean(xcau), by(hhid)
gen xcau_mo = (hhxcau*52)/12
lab var xcau_mo "monthly exp on cauliflower"

It goes on and on.

Anyway. So the topic of this post.

Warning: more math.

The other day Nine (nearly Ten!) explained to me that they were learning about the Mean (i.e. the average) in math that day.

I couldn't resist.

I'm a total math nerd. I love it. I'm in the middle of a book called The Big Questions in which the author essentially thinks that math is religion and can explain everything. That everything can be boiled down to math. I'm also teaching a math class at Macalester College at the moment, so I'm obsessed.

Anyway, I couldn't resist talking to her about the Normal Distribution because, well, it IS related to the mean and because I happen to be in love with two interesting and related topics:
1. The Law of Large Numbers
2. The Central Limit Theorem.

When her eyes glazed over I wrapped it up by talking to her about the two symbols that I know of that mean "mean": x-bar and mu.

Her response was that she knew another symbol for "mean".

I asked what it was, genuinely curious.

She drew a little face with slanty eyebrows.

It was indeed, mean.

1 comment:

Mhs said...

I'm with her!