Friday, September 11, 2009

Howard Wall on Cricket, Baseball and Economic Growth

Here's an entertaining article written by St. Louis Fed economist Howard Wall on the impact of cricket and baseball traditions on a nation's economic development. The article uses hard data to prove that baseball countries enjoy better-than-average economic growth, while cricket countries perform below average.

The article jokingly exploits the "correlation implies causation" fallacy, also known as the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, which is frequently found in ineptly conceived and sometimes morally corrupt research in all branches of sciences. The fallacy is also commonly used to rationalize and hide the self-serving nature of government policies. Here's the article's prankish conclusion, fashioned as the typical junk science daily news produced by our gullible media:
The empirical results speak for themselves. For emerging countries without a history of cricket or baseball, baseball instruction and subsidies should be an immediate priority. With the help of international institutions like the World Bank and the IMF, baseball aid should flow from the baseball powers, the US and Japan. The difficult problem is in devising a plan to eradicate the cricket-induced malaise of the cricket-playing countries. Clearly this is a task of Herculean proportions, rivalled only by the economic reform of formerly-communist countries. Like communism, years of cricket have polluted the very souls of these countries, and we need to measure the pace of reform in decades, not merely in years.

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