Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book of Odds

A new website is launching which allows you to find the odds of ... well pretty much everything. A few that scrolled by just now:

1 in 10 the odds a man in the US does not own a pair of blue jeans

1 in 100,000 odd a man will be diagnosed with breast cancer in a year

1 in 4.76 the odds that an ever-married or cohabiting man has cheated during the relationship

1 in 9.09 the odds that an ever married or cohabiting man has cheated during the relationship

And here's an article for shark week fans -- you are twice as likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark (do note this follow-up though which provides some important context).

Perhaps these will help people better maximize their expected utility.

1 in 1.4
The odds a woman 25 or older with a bachelor's degree or more is employed are 1 in 1.4 (US, 2008).

1 in 1.99
The odds a woman 25 or older with a high school diploma and no higher is employed are 1 in 1.99 (US, 2008).

This only makes me feel only slightly better about my education. I thought it would be more.

It is even more saddening if you compare it with this:

1 in 1.46
The odds a man 25 or older with a high school diploma and no higher is employed are 1 in 1.46 (US, 2008).

A high school educated man is almost as likely to be employed as me. But perhaps that is because they posses physical labor capacities that I do not.
There could be many explanations for those numbers. Such as the unaccounted for part of unemployed women who are stay-at-home mothers and the like.

Secondly, the higher odds of lower educated male employment might be due to a larger employment market for uneducated men in physical labor. And even though I don't condone the social construction, I believe that the male is perceived as the provider of income. There might be greater incentive for men to be employed than women.

The only way to test these would be to find the unemployment rate by gender, so to adjust for only those seeking work. If the odds still differ, then we might be capable of investigating some kind of gender discrimination in the work force.
Here's something kind of like the sark/vending machine concept. Stay away from people who you know.
1 in 1.28 the odds that the victim of a solved murder was not a stranger to the murderer.
Crazy! So I guess this means that if you are going to be murdered, it's less likely that you were walking around in a bad part of town than that you were attacked by your friend, family member or significant other. I like this statistic because it means that you can significantly reduce your chances of being murdered just by treating people nicely. of course that doesn't account for crazy people. You can't avoid people becoming obsessed with you and then killing you out of jealousy or whatever they might have made up in their minds. So I guess the take home is be nice to people and stay away from the crazies and you should die of natural causes. And probably don't do crack. Because then you will have crackhead friends who could kill you.
I liked this link of the main odds book page you should check it out
This is pretty cool. So next time I'm going to do something risky, I'll go ahead and assess my odds of a negative outcome!
Hm. This is pretty fun. Maybe I can use this to practice some of the problems I had trouble with in the intertemporal choice section. It would be fun to check out the value of certain chances, like car accidents or contracting a horrid disease when in Ecuador. Useful for class and for life!
The odds a male 15 - 44 used a condom during his last sexual encounter are 1 in 2.53 (US, 3/2002 - 2/2003).

The odds a male 15 - 44 has ever been tested for HIV are 1 in 2.15 (US, 3/2002 - 2/2003).

Interesting, this can be pretty entertaining actually
It bothers me that it is more likely than not, according to this site, that your significant other will cheat on you with a friend. And that, on average, more than 50% of high school students cheat on tests. But then, I come from a large, extremely safe, middle-class, homoethnic city.
I'm wary of this data though. There probably isn't enough explanation behind the assumptions and data gathering to take it literally.
1 in 14.23 - The odds an applicant to Harvard University will be admitted are 1 in 14.23 (US, 9/2008 - 4/2009). Haha... that's not bad Prof. Ward.
Jim you are hillarious. I was thinking about how people feel of Lewis and Clark's admission odds? Do you care that we are a relatively easier to get into school? I was talking to a friend a while back who seemed dissapointed... like we somehow do not choose elite enough folks to come here. Personally I chose Lewis and Clark over Reed because elitist folks are really hard to tolerate sometimes. Opinions?
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