User talk:Measure for Measure

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PED[edit]

Hey Measure for Measure, I just wanted to get your thoughts on the PED article firstly, and secondly the "Selected elasticities" section. Overall, I'm very proud of what we've achieved in the article, and am considering putting it forward for WP:FA (as you may know). The only thing I can't really comment on is the completeness of the article - what do you think? Is it truly "comprehensive"?

I can't say whether it's truly comprehensive... but I do see a problem. While the article mentions that elasticities are not slopes and that elasticities are unit free, it doesn't make it clear that abstracting from units is basically the whole motivation for the concept! Also, methods for estimating elasticities might be discussed in greater depth - but frankly that is probably grist for another entry. Measure for Measure (talk) 05:24, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Secondly, about the Selected elasticities section, my own thoughts would be that we simply cannot (and should not) try to be comprehensive in any sense. Realistically, if people want the PED of fish fingers they can go to a hundred and one other places to try to find out rather than Wikipedia. I think the section's usefulness lies in providing a short list of examples based on the determinants themselves. So oil has a PED close to zero because it is a necessity; drinks are price elastic because of the availability of close substitutes, etc, etc. Would this be roughly in line with what you were thinking? Thanks, - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 13:47, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

I do not and did not have any future plans to add to the Selected Elasticities section. That said, I'm not aware of any demand/supply elasticity clearinghouse on the web or anywhere else. As one commenter noted, research on this subject doesn't exactly put scholars on the fast-track to tenure. So I would encourage a large number of entries. Admittedly, if the list reaches 30 or so, it should probably go in its own article. ...Thanks for the comments. Measure for Measure (talk) 05:24, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Re: (1) Comprehensiveness and (2) elasticity, slopes, and units of measure[edit]

Sorry for being rather late to the game (or missing it completely?), but I just now stumbled on this discussion by accident. Several unexpected projects took up a lot of the time over the summer that I'd planned to devote to revising the PED article for FA nomination, and for most of the last 2 months, I've only been able to check in on WP about once a week, usually with no time to make any comments even then.

  • Comprehensiveness: Early in the summer, I did a detailed survey of the coverage of PED in a dozen or so intro and intermediate texts that I had readily at hand, and I skimmed at least another half-dozen. (Although there is a surprising amount of diversity in the extent and detail of their coverage, the discussions became unbearably repetititious after the 1st dozen, and the project began to cause unpleasant flashbacks to grad school — sort of an academic variant of PTSD.)
    • Based on what I found in these texts, I believe the present article is quite comprehensive, although certainly not exhaustive. The only significant omission I can think of off the top of my head is the geometric properties of PED (i.e., how to measure the PED using the ratio of the lengths of 2 line segments on the D-curve diagram). A significant minority of the texts covered this topic, although the levels of detail ranged from a passing mention, without any discussion or proof, to detailed proofs (the latter mostly in the intermediate texts). This was already the # 1 topic on the list of revisions I had in mind for the article.
      • This raises the question of how comprehensive the article should be — i.e., what's suitable for a general-purpose encyclopedia vs. the detailed coverage in scholarly sources like the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, or even a review article in the Journal of Economic Lit.? (The WP policy and guideline articles I've read pretty clearly rule out the latter 3, I think.)
  • Elasticity, slopes, and units of measure: (Cf. M4M's comment above) This is also on my list of topics to expand on slightly (i.e., a few well-chosen sentences). A few of the textbook treatments I reviewed devote far too much time to this topic, probably boring even the slightly astute students to death.

I think I'm nearly caught up after being gone most of the last 2 months, so I hope to be able to have a draft revision ready for comment in the not-too-distant future. (After all, as Jarry pointed out to me long ago, WP policy is that "we've got all day"!) I'll leave a note on the article's talk page relatively soon on a few general matters that may speed things along a bit if we agree on them up front. Chief among these is how to treat the nuisance of PED's inherent negative sign. The texts I reviewed vary widely in how they handle it (i.e., from not mentioning it at all to carrying it throughout the discussion consistently). At least a plurality, and maybe a majority, of them explicitly adopt the common convention of dropping the negative sign after explaining its origin. This greatly simplifies things and, I believe, avoids much confusion among students/WP readers, and I'm leaning strongly toward this approach. Even after teaching elasticity for lo these many years, it still boggles my mind a bit to have to think of a smaller (i.e., more negative) number as meaning a larger elasticity. (The article is slightly inconsistent or ambiguous on this matter.) More anon. --Jackftwist (talk) 17:35, 13 September 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for the comments Jackftwist! As for motivation: yes, I was imagining 1-3 sentences. It could be alluded to in the intro. A minimum plan might be changing, "Elasticity is not the same thing as the slope of the demand curve, which is dependent on the units used for both price and quantity." to something like: "When describing price-responsiveness, elasticity is preferred to slope since it is a unit-free measure: it is tied neither to a particular currency nor a measure of quantity such as grams or kilograms."

I have weak preferences regarding the signs of elasticity, but I would lean towards making it positive because that is the convention as I perceive it. Measure for Measure (talk) 23:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, 2012 - adding Intrade prediction data[edit]

Hi Measure for Measure! I was wondering if you could leave a comment herein the discussion whether it is appropriate to add Intrade data for an election wiki page if you get the chance, thanks! Patriot1010 (talk) 02:31, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks so much for the heads up Patriot! Measure for Measure (talk) 05:04, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for February 10[edit]

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Fixed link. Thanks for pointing this out Mr. Bot! Measure for Measure (talk) 01:25, 11 February 2013 (UTC)