GDP is the sum of all income earned in a country during a year. Alternatively, it can be thought of as the value of all production in an economy during a year. But do income and production measure happiness? The way we measure GDP can both overstate and understate people’s happiness and well-being. It understates economic activity and well-being when it doesn’t take into account production that is not exchanged in a market (grandma providing free baby-sitting) and leisure time. It overstates well-being when two otherwise identical activities are measured the same even though one produces more pollution.
- Start your discussion by responding to these questions:
- Should we continue to measure GDP as we do now? After all, the current way of measurement has been used over time, so we can make historical comparisons.
- Are there problems with GDP that should be fixed? If you don’t think GDP should be changed, explain your reasoning. If you think it should be changed, what changes would you recommend, and why?
This week you’ll get a head start on your Week 9 Assignment – Data Analysis and Visualization by searching for and summarizing a newspaper article that highlights a real-world problem that could be solved through statistical data.
To successfully complete your discussion post, include the following:
- The title of the article, the date it was published, and a link to the article.
- A bullet-pointed summary of the purpose of the article and the problem it is trying to solve.
- A brief explanation of how the article uses descriptive statistics to communicate information, conclusions, or solutions found in the study.
The instructions for this discussion are the same as Step 1 in your Week 9 Assignment.
To begin, visit one of the following newspapers’ websites: USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Washington Post. Select an article that uses statistical data related to a current event, your major, your current field, or a future career goal. The chosen article must have a publication date during this quarter.
Example topics may include:
- Elections/exit polls.
- Award shows (Oscars/Emmys/Grammys).
- Economy/job market.
- Gender equality.
The article should use one or more of the following categories of descriptive statistics:
- Measures of Frequency – Counting Rules, Percent, Frequency, Frequency Distributions.
- Measures of Central Tendency – Mean, Median, Mode.
- Measures of Dispersion or Variation – Range, Variance, Standard Deviation.
- Measures of Position – Percentile, Quartiles.
Note: Once you navigate to a publication’s website, it may be easiest to do a search with a statistics-related word (ex: standard deviation).
Explore below for examples of how the different statistical categories above were used in recent newspaper articles:
Statistical Category: Measures of Frequency – Counting Rules, Percent, Frequency, Frequency Distributions.
Title: Weekly Mortgage Refinance Applications Spike 15% as Interest Rates Plunge to Lowest in Nearly 4 Years (February 5, 2020).
Statistical Data: The percentages in the quote below are measures of frequency.
- “The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.71% from 3.81%, with points remaining unchanged at 0.28 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.”
Statistical Category: Measures of Central Tendency – Mean, Median, Mode.
Title: Here’s the Average American’s Credit Card Debt – And How Much It Costs Them (February 23, 2020).
Statistical Data: “The average American has $6,194 in credit card debt at an average interest rate of 16.88%.”
Statistical Category: Measures of Dispersion or Variation – Range, Variance, Standard Deviation.
Title: Franchises that Work Out: Many of the Hottest US Businesses to Franchise Involve Fitness (February 17, 2020).
Statistical Data: This is an example of measures of dispersion because it shares a range: “Estimated franchise startup cost: $2,000–$20,000.”
Statistical Category: Measures of Position – Percentile, Quartiles.
Title: The 4 Main Grad School Admissions Exams, in a Nutshell (March 30, 2017).