Links for 2013-04-16

  • Austerity policies founded on Excel typo

    You’ve probably heard that countries with a high debt:GDP ratio suffer from slow economic growth. The specific number 90 percent has been invoked frequently. That’s all thanks to a study conducted by Carmen Reinhardt and Kenneth Rogoff for their book This Time It’s Different. But the results have been difficult for other researchers to replicate. Now three scholars at the University of Massachusetts have done so in “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff” and they find that the Reinhart/Rogoff result is based on opportunistic exclusion of Commonwealth data in the late-1940s, a debatable premise about how to weight the data, and most of all a sloppy Excel coding error. Read Mike Konczal for the whole rundown, but I’ll just focus on the spreadsheet part. At one point they set cell L51 equal to AVERAGE(L30:L44) when the correct procuedure was AVERAGE(L30:L49). By typing wrong, they accidentally left Denmark, Canada, Belgium, Austria, and Australia out of the average. When you run the math correctly “the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is actually 2.2 percent, not -0.1 percent.”

    (tags: austerity politics excel coding errors bugs spreadsheets economics economy)

  • Is Your MySQL Buffer Pool Warm? Make It Sweat!

    How GroupOn are warming up a failover warm MySQL spare, using Percona stuff and a “tee” of the live in-flight queries. (via Dave Doran)

    (tags: via:dave-doran mysql databases warm-spares spares failover groupon percona replication)

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