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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Look what they did to my graph Ma!

This is a follow up to my previous post. Browsing through the Milburn report my eye was drawn to the first graph above apparently based on something from one of my own publications. They have succeeded in creating a great example of how not to present statistical information in graphical form. In fact I have rarely seen so many bad practices represented in one simple figure. Compare it with my original figure below it which appeared in: John H. Goldthorpe and Colin Mills (2008) 'Trends in Intergenerational Class Mobility in Modern Britain: Evidence from National Surveys, 1972-2005', National Institute Economic Review, 5, July, 83-100. See how many foolish errors you can spot. Here is a starter for 10. The points on the lower graph labelled BHPS7 and EUSILC7 are, as is explained in the article, not derived on the same basis as all the other points and therefore comparisons of levels between these and the other points is meaningless.

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