Monday, April 21, 2014

Making 3D Maps in Excel

Yeap! You read it right. Microsoft is chasing the game of geospatial analysis (via Flávia Feitosa).

They have developed an add-in called GeoFlow that enables interactive 3-D geospatial data visualizations in Excel. It looks like a good platform for a wider audience. A preview of GeoFlow is available for download here.

[image credit: Microsoft]

[image credit: Microsoft]

Related Links:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Your Language structure affect how you act

Languages differ widely in the ways they partition time. In this paper I test the hypothesis that languages that do not grammatically distinguish between present and future events (what linguists call weak-FTR languages) lead their speakers to take more future-oriented actions. First, I show how this prediction arises naturally when well-documented effects of language on cognition are merged with models of decision making over time. Then, I show that consistent with this hypothesis, speakers of weak-FTR languages save more, hold more retirement wealth, smoke less, are less likely to be obese, and enjoy better long-run health. This is true in every major region of the world and holds even when comparing only demographically similar individuals born and living in the same country. The evidence does not support the most obvious forms of common causation. I discuss implications of these findings for theories of intertemporal choice.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Age of Peak Academic Performance

An interesting paper on the age of peak academic performance (via Bernardo L Queiroz).

Great scientific output typically peaks in middle age. A classic literature has emphasized comparisons across fields in the age of peak performance. More recent work highlights large underlying variation in age and creativity patterns, where the average age of great scientific contributions has risen substantially since the early 20th Century and some scientists make pioneering contributions much earlier or later in their life-cycle than others. We review these literatures and show how the nexus between age and great scientific insight can inform the nature of creativity, the mechanisms of scientific progress, and the design of institutions that support scientists, while providing further insights about the implications of aging populations, education policies, and economic growth.
[click on the image to enlarge it]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rise in Transport Costs in Brazil

In June 2013, the rise in Bus fares were the spark for huge protests in more than 80 cities in BrazilIn this report (published in Portuguese last year) we analyze some of the main pricing and funding issues of public transport in Brazil. The rise in transport costs in the country is just of them, and in which govermental policies have played an important role subsidizing gasoline consumption and the purchase of new cars.

For more details and a further discussion on this issue, you may read the report here.

And for now, here are some figures and a chart showing the increase in inflation and its transport components between 2000 and 2012 for the largest Brazilian metropolitan areas.

IPCA (Inflation): 125%
Bus fares: 192%
Gasoline: 122%
Owning a vehicle: 44%

[click on the image to enlarge it]

Label Translation:
  • IPCA = consumer price index
  • Tarifa de ônibus = Bus fare
  • Tarifa de Metro = Subway fare
  • Gasolia = Gasoline
  • Veículo próprio = Owning a vehicle (car or motocycle), including purchase and maintenance expenses.