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“True Believers” or Numerical Terrorism at the Nuclear Power Plant

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  • Krämer Walter

    (Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistik, Fakultät Statistik, Technische Universität Dortmund, 44221 Dortmund, Germany)

  • Arminger Gerhard

    (Arminger, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftstatistik, Fachbereich B Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Schumpeter School of Business and Economics, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Gaußstrasse 20, 42097 Wuppertal, Germany)

Abstract

For decades, there has been a heated debate about whether or not nuclear power plants contribute to childhood cancer in their respective neighbourhoods, with statisticians testifying on both sides. The present paper points to some flaws in the pro-arguments, taking a recent study prepared for the political party “Bündnis 90 /Grüne” as a specimen. Typical mistakes include an understatement of the size of tests of significance, disregard of important covariates and extreme reliance on very few selected data points.

Suggested Citation

  • Krämer Walter & Arminger Gerhard, 2011. "“True Believers” or Numerical Terrorism at the Nuclear Power Plant," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(5-6), pages 608-620, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:231:y:2011:i:5-6:p:608-620
    DOI: 10.1515/jbnst-2011-5-604
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Krämer, 2011. "The Cult of Statistical Significance – What Economists Should and Should Not Do to Make their Data Talk," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 131(3), pages 455-468.

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