value of given name data

Given names are an important but under-appreciated type of data.   Given names represent significant symbolic choices.  Large populations of persons have been making this well-defined symbolic choice for millennia.  Given names are thus useful data for studying symbolic choice, effects of communication technologies, and information economics. Given name frequency data are now also important to … Continue reading value of given name data

reasoning about symbolic choices

Parents usually consider carefully and at length what name to give to their new new-born children.  Recent research shows that given names that increase faster in popularity also decrease faster in popularity.  According to survey evidence, parents reason that names that are rapidly increasing in popularity are less likely to have enduring appeal.  Hence parents … Continue reading reasoning about symbolic choices

lack of power laws and other popularity problems

Discussion of tails and popularity seems to be maturing into more comprehensive considerations. Folks aiming for uber-geek status might chat about the difference between power laws and log-normal distributions. This difference has similar consequences to the difference between non-stationary and stationary macroeconomic time series. If those terms are obscure to you, you might just chat … Continue reading lack of power laws and other popularity problems

more discussion about tail size

Once again men are heatedly discussing tail size. Just ponder this queston: How large is the long tail? Personally, I’m going to keep looking before I decide for myself. While it’s novel to bring mathematical precision to such matters, unfortunately it seems to me that this mathematical model focuses attention on misleading features. The model … Continue reading more discussion about tail size