So, here is the link to a paper which Keiths claims says something about income inequality, and I say is another example of the proliferation of shoddy science.
The highlight of the paper is this claim:
“We found that of the 40 search terms used more frequently in states with greater income inequality, more than 70% were classified as referring to status goods (e.g., designer brands, expensive jewelry, and luxury clothing). In contrast, 0% of the 40 search terms used more frequently in states with less income inequality were classified as referring to status goods.”
Where does one begin to critique the ridiculousness of this claim? 70% of the majority of searches are for luxury goods in some states, 0% of the most searched items in other states?
If one claims the difference in search patterns from one state to another is that dramatic, shouldn’t ones bs detector already be ringing alarm bells?
And what is considered a luxury good? What is the cut-off for equal states and unequal states? Did they decide the luxury terms before or after they viewed the data? Who do they claim is doing all this searching for luxury, the haves or the have nots?
The red flags are everywhere. Isn’t it likely that they had a conclusion that they wished to reach, and that they fulfilled their own prophecy?