Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Bank of England has published its latest forecasts for the UK economy. These suggest that output is set to recover in the latter part of this year, rising quickly to a growth rate of around 2 per cent by the end of 2014. The Confederation of British Industry has made a similar forecast.

The latest results of my neural network forecaster (based on growth of industrial output) paint a similar picture of eventual recovery, although the prognosis for growth is more modest. The red line below shows the forecast to the end of next year - and suggests that growth during 2014 will be around 1.5%.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Sometimes it's nice, and reassuring, to see some unsurprising results emerge from statistical exercises. Brian Jacob, Brian McCall and Kevin Stange have recently produced a paper that analyses the determinants of college choice in the US. Amongst these determinants are college expenditures (per full-time equivalent student) on amenities (what the authors term 'country club' facilities) and on instruction. Unsurprisingly, spending on amentites attracts students. But it is a less strong attractor for the ablest students. Spending on instruction, meanwhile, positively attracts only the ablest students (and actually puts other students off). This means that different colleges' spending patterns can be rationalised by looking at the types of students that they are attracting (and are looking to attract in future).