« Primer on regression adjustments 3 | Main | The unexpected gift of a well-conducted study »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Michael Droy

I think you have been very hopeful if you ever thought we would get sensible comment coming out of governments.

The fall in IFR estimates from complete guesses of 5% in early 2020, to 1% guesses on the basis of 5% being too high in spring 2020 to pretty clear certainty of around 0.2%* or lower by May 2020 was never reported, not by any government, their officials or the scientist or statistics community.

An honest government would have presented the results of a QALY study that matched the cost in quality adjusted life years from the economic and health service impact of lock downs against the Covid impact from not locking down.
And yet not only were these not presented by any government, most have claimed that there has been no such study. (Ridiculous IMO, QALY calculations are precisely why governments employ so many economists and the basis for most micro and macro health service decisions.)

What governments specialise in is defensive PR to minimise criticism of policies and ministers/politicians. And Nudge theory, where great care is taken in the choice of what best should be said to achieve intended changes in behaviour.
And that is what we get.

*I'm avoiding here a discussion of what IFR is and how it is really a function acting on the characteristics of a population rather than a simple %.


MD: I'm curious how the economists justify extending a few months of a sick elderly's life usign QALY.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Get new posts by email:
Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
Visit my website. Follow my Twitter. See my articles at Daily Beast, 538, HBR, Wired.

See my Youtube and Flickr.


  • only in Big Data
Numbers Rule Your World:
Amazon - Barnes&Noble

Amazon - Barnes&Noble

Junk Charts Blog

Link to junkcharts

Graphics design by Amanda Lee

Next Events

Jan: 10 NYPL Data Science Careers Talk, New York, NY

Past Events

Aug: 15 NYPL Analytics Resume Review Workshop, New York, NY

Apr: 2 Data Visualization Seminar, Pasadena, CA

Mar: 30 ASA DataFest, New York, NY

See more here

Principal Analytics Prep

Link to Principal Analytics Prep