Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wealth distributions

So this is from Mother Jones, via a lefty academic friend on Facebook.

The trick, of course, is that the total amount of wealth is implicitly, by keeping the bars the same length, and incorrectly, held constant under the three distributions. One wonders, of course, if the underlying survey questions prompted the respondents to consider this elasticity in formulating their responses. I would guess that they did not.

Ah ... the picture is too large, and I do not know how to make it smaller. Here is a link to the full picture.

Addendum: another interesting and not unrelated exercise would ask about the distributions of responses to happiness survey questions as a function of wealth or income. I suspect that the general public is ill-informed about the shape of that distribution as well.

Addendum2: too large picture replaced with smaller picture. Hat tip to Maggie McNeill


maggiemcneill said...

Hi Jeff! I reduced the graph for you; email me and I'll send it back to you. :-)

econjeff said...