FiveThirtyEight

61 posts
Where unemployment benefits are higher than lost wages

Economists at the University of Chicago analyzed unemployment benefits from the CARES act and compared them against median salaries for different occupations and by state. FiveThirtyEight highlighted the differences: The researchers uncovered other kinds of inequality, too. In some professions, like janitorial work, people who are employed by essential businesses are continuing to show up to their jobs under hazardous conditions. But in doing so, they may be eligible for...

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Comparing Covid-19 models

FiveThirtyEight compared six Covid-19 models for a sense of where we might be headed. With different assumptions and varying math, the trajectories vary, but they at least provide clues so that policymakers can make educated decisions. If you’re interested in the data behind these models, check out the COVID-19 Forecast Hub maintained by the Reich Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They helped with the FiveThirtyEight comparisons and are...

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Challenges of making a reliable Covid-19 model

Fatalities from Covid-19 range from the hundreds of thousands to the millions. Nobody knows for sure. These predictions are based on statistical models, which are based on data, which aren’t consistent and reliable yet. FiveThirtyEight, whose bread and butter is models and forecasts, breaks down the challenges of making a model and why they haven’t provided any. Tags: coronavirus, FiveThirtyEight, modeling

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FiveThirtyEight launches new NBA metric for predications

FiveThirtyEight has been predicting NBA games for a few years now, based on a variant of Elo ratings, which in turn have roots in ranking chess players. But for this season, they have a new metric to predict with called RAPTOR, or Robust Algorithm (using) Player Tracking (and) On/Off Ratings: NBA teams highly value floor spacing, defense and shot creation, and they place relatively little value on traditional big-man skills....

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New abortion restrictions by state, since 2011

For FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Gus Wezerek categorized and mapped new abortion restrictions enacted by state legislatures from 2011 to 2019: The result is a complicated patchwork of abortion laws that have made it more time-consuming and expensive to get the procedure in certain parts of the country. In addition to counseling, waiting period and ultrasound requirements — all of which can increase the time and cost associated with the...

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Mapping politically polarized cities

Rachael Dottle, for FiveThirtyEight, looked for political differences in cities and ranked them, based on precinct voting margins for the 2016 election: To see just how politically segregated America’s urban areas are, we used each city’s 2016 election results to calculate its dissimilarity index — basically, a number that tells us how separated its Republicans and Democrats are from one another, with higher numbers indicating more segregation. This technique is...

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Playing the odds for record-breaking Jeopardy! wins

James Holzhauer is the new hotness on Jeopardy! with Daily Double hunting, big wagers, lightning clicks, and all-around trivia skills. For FiveThirtyEight, Oliver Roeder looks at how Holzhauer dominates: Holzhauer has played this game like no one has ever played it before — large bets coupled with expert navigation of the game board. He has now played 14 games with his total winnings sitting above $1,000,000 and counting, and he...

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FiveThirtyEight evaluates their forecasts

FiveThirtyEight uses forecasts to attach probabilities to politics and sports, and they get most of their attention before the events. After all, we don’t need a forecast after something happened. But forecasts aren’t useful if they don’t represent reality. So, FiveThirtyEight evaluated all of their projections. Tags: FiveThirtyEight, forecasting

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How to spot a partisan gerrymander

For FiveThirtyEight, William T. Adler and Ella Koeze describe how a metric called partisan bias is used to assess partisan gerrymandering. As you might imagine, it’s fuzzy. Tags: FiveThirtyEight, gerrymandering

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Personality quiz with traits on a spectrum

Ah, the online personality quiz, oh how I missed you. Oh wait, this one is slightly different. For FiveThirtyEight, Maggie Koerth-Baker and Julia Wolfe provide a quiz used by psychologists to gauge personality traits: First, the Big Five doesn’t put people into neat personality “types,” because that’s not how personalities really work. Instead, the quiz gives you a score on five different traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, negative emotionality and openness...

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