Frivolity

Dubious prognoses

May 2 '11

Via “Paul Krugman”:http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/prognosticate-that/, a “paper”:http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/130485/claim-krugman-is-top-prognosticator-cal-thomas-is-the-worst/, finding that most pundits do no better at making predictions than a flipped coin. Remarkably, the piece fails to cite the “ground-shattering analysis”:http://hij.sagepub.com/content/1/1/33.abstract which arguably launched the field of quantitative pundit studies, Lee Sigelman et al.’s “statistical analysis of the predictive powers of the McLaughlin group”:http://hij.sagepub.com/content/1/1/33.abstract. Sigelman and colleagues find that McLaughlin predictions were only right 50.1% of the time – it would seem that there has not been much improvement in the meantime (to the extent that the recent paper’s findings are reliable – I wouldn’t be staking me life on them myself).