Political Forecasting: Justin Wolfers vs. Nate Silver

Andrew Gelman nailed it:

In summary, &#8220-momentum&#8221- can exist, but the places where you&#8217-ll see it is in races where current public opinion is out of step with best predictions. The mere information that a race has a 5-point swing is not enough to predict a future shift in that direction. As Nate emphasizes, such a prediction is only appropriate in the context of real-world information, hypotheses of &#8220-factors above and beyond the direction in which the polls have moved in the past.&#8221-

One thought on “Political Forecasting: Justin Wolfers vs. Nate Silver

  1. Jason Ruspini said:

    I actually don’t think the EMH-angle is the most interesting thing here, but rather the original oversight that Justin pointed out. This is applies to financial markets too. You have markets that have negative serial correlation, but nonetheless there are “trend-following” models that trade them profitably. Likewise, as I’ve argued before, even if short-term traders increase daily volatility, this is not the kind of volatility that folks really care about. For the most part, they only care about longer-term booms and busts in asset prices, and that sort of volatility is possibly intensified by less active trading and lower liquidity.

    I don’t really follow on the gender comment.

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