November 2010


Brayden King at OrgTheory notes how successful anti-Walmart protest groups have been (at least on those occasions when they protest). To borrow from Albert O. Hirschmann’s “Exit, Voice and Loyalty”, Wal-Mart may in part be using Voice as a signal for the potential of Exit. You might view this as evidence that politics isn’t so rigged by corporations, and in that case you’ve probably never heard of Saint Consulting Group.

On an unrelated note, a former guest contributor to OrgTheory once noted that “Germany has far fewer public corporations (656) than Hong Kong (1165) or Malaysia (1027)”.

I had heard of off-duty police in Brazil executing random sleeping street-kids. I had thought it was opportunistic and driven by the same esprit de corps that causes them to beat & kill when on the job, with perhaps peer support substituting for hourly wages. It was only recently I read that they are hired by local businessmen and charge “$40 to $50 for killing a street kid and as much as $500 for an adult”. That’s understandable for targeted killings, like rubbing out a snitch or someone who just knows too much (alleged to be a source of work between drug gangs and death squads), but that article also says (with a note from the executioner corroborating) that some are killed just because they are street kids. But simply decreasing the supply of street kids is a public good for all Fine Upstanding Hardworking Taxpaying Adults in the vicinity (just the kind of people who support the crackdown). Each of them should have the incentive to hold back and try to free-ride off others. Granted just as an assurance contract doesn’t have to be theoretically dominant to succeed, maybe those hiring death squads really are so full of public spirit that they chip in (works for churches, while synagogues have a different model). The alternative story I’d heard is the John Robb one in which paramilitaries are entrepreneurial stationary bandits who monopolize territory and tax it. In that case their revenue should not be contingent on the number of children murdered, which they might due on their own initiative to cement their control.
Hat-tip to I forget which blogger, having rechecked both McArdle & Cowen.

On a not very related note, Steve Walt recently identified and linked to his brother-in-law/colleague Christopher Stone, who specializes in comparative criminal justice issues. Checking out some of his listed publications, I was not impressed by A tale of two cities, a lame apologia for the continued success of New York’s gauche crime-fighting strategy compared to Boston’s more liberal-weenie (if not community) pleasing approach. Would he have written something differently if the Times rather than Globe were the publisher? I will give him credit for providing graphs to back up his argument in Measuring the Contribution of Criminal Justice Systems to the Control of Crime and Violence: Lessons from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic that police killing criminals is not very effective at reducing aggregate crime levels.
(more…)

I often hear back-and-forth arguments from pro and anti stimulus folks about CBO type reports on jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus being vindications or just re-runs rather than tests of the same models from before it was implemented. Steve Landsburg reports here on a study which found aspects of a “natural experiment” in how the different states spent stimulus money, concluding that “The number of jobs created or saved by the spending is about 2.0 million as of March, but drops to near zero as of August.” So all of you still blathering about forecasts, shut up. Folks like Niklas Blanchard excepted since he is being inductive rather than relying on a detailed model of his own. There is also the continuance of an interesting discussion there on the death penalty and structural models vs empirical analyses using instrumental variables.

I wrote the previous post about a week ago, but didn’t feel like publishing it before anyone commented on the previous four published in rapid succession. It was only while telling H.A about Ashwin Parameswaran that I was inspired by the latter to re-check chapter nine of “Seeing Like a State”. That chapter is a celebration of “metis” or local, practical, or personal knowledge over “techne”, what we would consider more scientific knowledge. It included not only the folk-wisdom of agriculturalists, but the medical knowledge of doctors. I was particularly struck by the passage in which a doctor claims he can just by looking identify to a great degree of accuracy whether an infant was seriously ill and needed medical attention, but couldn’t fully explain what visual cue alerted his judgment. It brought back to me memories of Robyn Dawes’ “House of Cards” in which he gives numerous examples of psychiatrists claims to experience derived insight & intuition completely unsupported by performance data. In another of his books “Rational Choice in an Uncertain World” he explains (with some of the figures providing examples of Goofus behavior) how our minds are prone to that kind of error due to our inability to understand how randomness works and our susceptibility to confirmation bias. Dawes’ experience was with the notably flaky field of mental health, surely physical doctors are much better. Robin Hanson has been on a one-man crusade to take them down a notch and insist on the use randomized studies on health outcomes rather than relying on their expertise. Has anyone tried reconciling the clash of metis and techne? Malcolm Gladwell may have fumbled in that direction with “Blink”, but I don’t feel like reading it.

James Scott’s “Seeing Like a State” is perhaps the best introduction to a sub-genre of books on how the best laid plans can founder. Jane Jacobs had earlier applied that sort of analysis to city planning, William Easterly does to international development and Chris Coyne does to reconstruction & occupation following war. Robin Hanson ought to apply his “near/far” theory to those ideas some day. The introductory example Scott uses is Prussian forestry, so it only makes sense that there should be an example specifically dealing with forest management*. Someone commenting on one of Arnold Kling’s half-formed arguments/metaphors**/dichotomies mentioned Alston Chases Playing God in Yellowstone, which gets a rather favorable review (despite its bashing of the environmental movement) from IndyBay here. The reviewer states that part of his argument is a critique of a “hands off” approach involving “natural regulation” but his own recommendations aren’t that different in general approach (maybe “be more pragmatic and use good science”?), so it might be hard to slot him in as a Hayekian/Polanyian***.

*Randal “The Antiplanner” O’Toole is actually has his degree in forest management. But he seems to devote most of his time these days discussing roads & rails. And he’s not a fan of Jane Jacobs. I told him some day I’d send a copy of Donald Shoup’s “The High Cost of Free Parking” to review.
**Karl Smith complicates the ranger/curator dichotomy with is metaphor of the arborist, though he could have simply pointed out that the actual curators seem to do a decent enough job in managing a pleasing park. He earlier tried to add nuance to Kling’s hydraulic macro economist type with a hydrodynamic metaphor.
***I actually read “The Great Transformation” months ago, procrastinated and ran out of library renewals while writing a review around the time I moved to Chicago. I do plan on eventually finishing & posting it.

I’ve been a fan of Albert O. Hirschmann’s distinction between between Exit and Voice long before actually reading the book “Exit, Voice and Loyalty”. I’m a hardcore exit kind of guy, whereas Albert seeks to persuade his fellow economists to not focus on it so much. Part of his interest rests on the concept of recuperation (whereas in models of perfect competition firms simply go out of business to be replaced by new entrants), which as a Loyalty-deficient person is irrelevant to me. But the part that I have found the most odd was in his chapter “How Monopoly Can be Comforted by Competition”:
“While of undoubted benefit in the case of the exploitative, profit-maximizing monopolist, the presence of competition could do more harm than good when the main concern is to counteract the monopolist’s tendency toward flaccidity and mediocrity. For, in that case, exit-competition could just fatally weaken voice along the lines of the preceding section, without creating a serious threat to the organization’s survival. […] [T]here are many other cases where competition does not restrain monopoly as it is supposed to, but comforts and bolsters it by unburdening it of its more troublesome customers. As a result, one can define an important and too little noticed type of monopoly-tyranny : a limited type, an oppression of the weak by the incompetent and an exploitation of the poor by the lazy which is the more durable and stifling as it is both unambitious and escapable. In the economic sphere such “lazy” monopolies […] “welcome competition” as a release from effort and criticism[…] Those who hold power in the lazy monopoly may actually have an interest in creating some limited opportunities for exit on the part of those whose voice might be uncomfortable.”

In discussing the different theorized approaches to price-discrimination taken by exploitative vs exit-welcoming monopolies, Hirschmann acknowledges that “Instances of such topsy-turvy (from the point of view of profit maximization) are not easy to document in economic life, in part perhaps because we have not looked for them very hard and in part simply because price discrimination in general is not easily practiced.” His examples come from politics, such as a law in Columbia that paid former Presidents as many dollars abroad as they would receive in pesos if they remained in country. The models in the book concern the reaction of customers toward declining quality, but from what I can tell the threat from former Presidents is that they may try to retake office and so are best thought of as potential competitors or peers rather than mere stakeholders.

Some of his examples involve government agencies which don’t have to worry about loss of revenue. Like Warren Buffet, he worries that the option among high-income parents to put kids in private schools will mean reduced quality for public schools. But when funding follows students, exit actually does threaten the public schools and lead to improvement.

A little while back I cited “The Horse, the Wheel and Language” on the attractiveness to some of a less egalitarian social structure. Mancur Olson has a similar story in “The Rise and Decline of Nations”: “Though multigenerational distributional coalitions foster inefficiency, inequality, and group prejudice, it is nonetheless important to realize that some individuals and groups outside the society containing these coalitions may improve their positions by joining that society, even if they enter at the bottom. Tribes without settled agriculture, for example, might in some circumstances have found that they would be better off joining Indian society than by staying out of sit, even though they were accorded the lowest status and were victims of special-interest groups to boot. There have been many observations of such assimilation of tribal groups into India’s caste system, and they must help to account for its great diversity.”

This narrative contrasts with that of writers who view truly primitive life as preferable (judged by per capita standard of living) to most agricultural lifestyles. Examples of that perspective are Jared Diamond and James Scott. The latter has even discussed how such cultures are marked by their nomadic resistance to being assimilated into settled agricultural states.

Patri Friedman’s fondness of this book may explain why he is more partial to “resets“, while from my more Burkean perspective the idea reeks of disaster. To argue from my perspective, Mancur’s perspective seems dated in the 70s as America & Great Britain have made France & Germany look like laggards again, and Australia is also doing much better than he would have expected. The continued success of post-Deng China does support his theory, but it still seems to me largely the result of catch-up growth. A final counter-argument against that is How imposed institutional reforms can work: Lessons from the French Revolution. I’d like to hear Christopher Coyne comment on that.

I’d been hearing a lot of complaint about the recent ridiculousness, but Drezner provides some polling data showing it isn’t representative. I’ve said before that I don’t believe in any “right to privacy”, so I suppose I’m more annoyed by how much time & money has been wasted on a vastly overblown threat. And I grind my teeth at the admission that the new groping procedure has no purpose other than to be unpleasant enough to teach passengers not to opt out. I have no need to actually fly anywhere, so like many of Drezner’s imagined respondents I don’t have to actually experience any of it.

Elsewhere at Foreign Policy, President Obama is accused of being a supplicant who gives away the store to swarthy foreigners. I suppose the story is that he needs to get tough.

This study from the Journal of Pragmatics (a publication unlikely to be found at the local Borders I’ll venture to guess) exposes the use, or lack thereof, of politically correct language by two media sources, the Houston Chronicle and Google News, to refer to different social groups in society.  Results show that relatively euphemistic descriptions are more often found when describing stock characters that society is sympathetic to, such as children, followed by non-criminal adults. But for criminals,  standards are relaxed. When it comes to criminals, the thinking apparently goes, the preservation of the niceties of PC language rules can be scrapped.

Of course one would think that being disabled, or, rather, afflicted with a disability, should be conceived of independently of any crimes committed by such criminals if the integrity of this linguistic branch of modern liberalism is to be maintained, but alas that isn’t what appears to happen:

The early 1990s saw the proposal for ‘people first’ language: premodified nouns (disabled people) were to be replaced by postmodified nouns (people with disabilities). This usage was widely adopted in the fields of education and psychology. This article examines the distribution of both patterns in the electronic archives of the Houston Chronicle from 2002 to 2007, well after the suggestion for postmodification euphemism was launched, to investigate how widely the pattern has been adopted in everyday language use. The data from the Houston Chronicle are compared to the usage patterns in Google News .

Contrary to the usage in contemporary educational and psychological literature, the Houston Chronicle seems to favor the ‘non-PC’ usage: over 70% of the phrases resort to premodification. The distribution of ‘non-PC’ vs. ‘PC’ phrases, however, is not random: premodification refers to ‘undesirable’ societal elements (e.g., prisoners) or, for instance, to fictional characters in movie descriptions; by contrast, postmodification is reserved for children or non-criminal adults.


HT: National Affairs.

My opinion of McWhorter is usually along the lines of pre-bloggingheads Glenn Loury (a linguist light-weight out of his depth in the issues he discusses, similar to the way I feel about another Loury partner, Josh Cohen). But I agree with him on some particular points he makes in that diavlog. Obama’s ability to give inspiring speeches to big crowds does not mean he has the social abilities of a cordial backroom backslapper, and those abilities may be necessary for a modern politico to be effective. But nevertheless, if the general picture of the economy was better pundits (such as McWhorter himself) would not be writing about the particular details that crippled the Obama presidency.

On a completely different note, Frances Woolley in a comment at WCI refers to a paper which indicates “families consisting of two adults+a late teens daughter have three decision makers, while families consisting of two adults+a late teens son have two decision-makers”. Speculation why follows. On an only somewhat related note, there’s a guest-post at the Monkey Cage critiquing the recent paper on gendered use of agentive/communal language for recommendations in academic hiring. Perhaps Econ Journal Watch should start imperializing other disciplines.

At Overcoming Bias, Doug argued that the rich tend to be rural despite the image of urban “SWPLs”. That didn’t sound quite right to me, so I decided to check the GSS.

Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
SRCBELT
1
12 LRGST SMSA’S
2
SMSA’S 13-100
3
SUBURB, 12 LRGST
4
SUBURB, 13-100
5
OTHER URBAN
6
OTHER RURAL
ROW
TOTAL
W
E
A
L
T
H
1: Less than $5,000 12.8
12.3
17.5
28.8
8.3
17.0
10.5
26.6
12.1
73.1
13.0
21.5
12.0
179.3
2: $5,000 to $20,000 12.5
12.0
14.5
23.9
11.1
22.6
10.2
25.8
12.6
76.4
15.1
24.9
12.5
185.6
3: $20,000 to $40,000 9.8
9.4
14.1
23.2
2.6
5.3
6.6
16.8
9.7
59.0
8.3
13.6
8.6
127.3
4: $40,000 to $75,000 11.7
11.3
11.1
18.4
10.3
21.0
7.2
18.1
8.1
49.1
8.3
13.7
8.8
131.7
5: $75,000 to $100,000 6.5
6.2
7.2
11.9
10.3
21.1
5.6
14.2
6.1
37.2
7.3
12.0
6.9
102.7
6: $100,000 to $150,000 12.6
12.1
4.7
7.7
4.7
9.6
6.9
17.4
8.5
51.3
9.2
15.2
7.6
113.4
7: $150,000 to $250,000 13.4
12.9
9.6
15.9
8.0
16.2
15.1
38.2
13.4
81.4
11.0
18.1
12.3
182.7
8: $250,000 to $500,000 9.7
9.3
15.7
25.9
21.9
44.7
18.9
47.7
16.5
100.2
14.2
23.5
16.9
251.2
9: $500,000 to $1 million 8.4
8.1
4.9
8.0
14.8
30.1
14.7
37.2
9.7
58.6
9.3
15.3
10.6
157.3
10: $1 million to $2 million 1.9
1.9
.5
.9
4.2
8.5
3.5
8.9
2.6
15.7
4.0
6.6
2.9
42.5
11: $2 million to $3 million .0
.0
.3
.4
.9
1.9
.2
.4
.4
2.2
.0
.0
.3
5.0
12: $3 million to $4 million .0
.0
.0
.0
2.3
4.8
.0
.0
.0
.0
.3
.4
.4
5.2
14: $5 million to $10 million .0
.0
.0
.0
.6
1.3
.0
.0
.1
.9
.0
.0
.1
2.1
15: Above $10 million .9
.9
.0
.0
.0
.0
.5
1.3
.1
.9
.0
.0
.2
3.0
COL TOTAL 100.0
96.4
100.0
165.1
100.0
204.2
100.0
252.7
100.0
605.9
100.0
164.8
100.0
1,489.1
Means 5.01 4.42 6.12 5.83 5.28 5.11 5.36
Std Devs 2.83 2.71 3.01 2.91 2.86 2.89 2.91
Unweighted N 95 171 180 229 601 188 1,464
Color coding: <-2.0 <-1.0 <0.0 >0.0 >1.0 >2.0 Z
N in each cell: Smaller than expected Larger than expected
Summary Statistics
Eta* = .17 Gamma = .00 Rao-Scott-P: F(65,2600) = 1.61 (p= 0.00)
R = .02 Tau-b = .00 Rao-Scott-LR: F(65,2600) = 1.54 (p= 0.00)
Somers’ d* = .00 Tau-c = .00 Chisq-P(65) = 114.53
Chisq-LR(65) = 109.10
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.
Text for ‘WEALTH’

1092. Please estimate your total wealth. IF ASKED: Wealth means 
the value of your house plus the value of your vehicles, stocks 
and mutual funds, cash, checking accounts, retirement accounts 
including 401(k) and pension assets, and any other assets minus 
what you owe for your mortgage and your debts.

I was actually surprised at the rarity of the wealthy in the biggest metropoli.

Reading some relatively boring election-related stuff from Andrew Gelman, I came across an older post of his titled Against Parsimony. That stuck out to me, since parsimony had long been emphasized as an aspect of good theories. Fewer moving parts generally means less probability of error (this is related to the conjunction fallacy) and in practice it is necessary to avoid curve-fitting. Having a simple theory which predicts out-of-sample data is generally taken as an indicator as finding something about reality, which is why physicists looking for the most fundamental laws put so much emphasis on “beauty” or “elegance” of theories/equations. Gelman took his title from a paper by Albert O. Hirschmann. I still haven’t finished “Exit, Voice and Loyalty” though since starting it a while back I’ve bought and got midway through Mark Kleiman’s “When Brute Force Fails” and just today started Mancur Olson’s “The Rise and Decline of Nations”, in the introduction of which he spends a lot of words on the importance of parsimony in explanations of the titular problem.

I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) a comparison of the Old Believers to Jews, for being an economically successful religious minority also drawn toward rebellion against what they saw as an oppressive regime. It seemed an odd comparison to me since Jews are Yuri Slezkine’s modernists par excellence (with the most religiously traditional sects exhibiting the previously mentioned traits to the least extent) while the Old Believers are defined by their opposition to the replacement of old rituals and among some sects even reject the shaving of beards. In that religious sense they are a bit reminescent of the Amish, who are famously pacifist/quietist and reject materialism for community. Flash forward to today when after listening to “Standing on the shoulders of freaks” I decided to investigate that rumor about Catherine the Great on wikipedia but wound up reading about Pugachev’s Rebellion instead. Their participation in that isn’t even mentioned in the article about the fallout of the Raskol. In school I had only heard about them meekly being burned at the stake while holding up two fingers.

The reasons for the schism seem rather ridiculous to us (by which I mean Protestants) today. Three-fingers or two, what difference does it make? The Old Believer-sympathetic writers of their wiki article points out how much more seriously people took rituals back then, which were supposed to be divine. That does sound similar to the attitude described as the pre-reform Germanic custom in Harold Berman’s “Law & Revolution”, and not being subject to the Pope one wouldn’t be surprised to see that tradition stronger in Russia. A while back when discussing the Puritans of England, Michael said the dispute was political rather than theological. I said that what we may regard as “theologically insignificant”, people at that time did not. The Old Believers may count as further evidence for me, but some of them also rejected priestly authority or set up their own alternative hierarchy (though their explicit reasons for this were like those of the Donatists).

UPDATE: Daniel Larison comments “It is fair to say that Old Believers became hostile to absolute monarchy under the Romanovs when Tsar Alexis supported their condemnation, but it would be misleading to say that the Schism was driven by opposition to absolutism. As I understand it, the Schism had its origins in resistance to Nikonian reform that the tsar supported, and it was only after the council of 1666 that the Old Believers concluded that the tsar had betrayed the faith. That is, their hostility to Tsar Alexis was based in their objection to the religious reform he was imposing. It was not a reaction against absolutism, except insofar as absolutism facilitated their persecution. From the original Old Believer perspective, there would have been nothing wrong with absolute monarchy, as long as the king was Orthodox (which for them would have meant a tsar in opposition to the Nikonian reform).”

Sister Y suggested that smart people may use drugs & have sex because they are bored more often. The GSS has two variables, BOREDOM and BORED. Only the first one actually asks about boredom per se, but I report results for both.

Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
1 2 3 4 5 ROW
TOTAL
BOREDOM 1: ALWAYS 35.3
3.1
.0
.0
.0
.0
2.9
1.5
1.2
1.0
3.0
5.6
2: OFTEN .0
.0
.0
.0
.0
.0
5.9
3.1
9.0
7.7
5.6
10.7
3: SOMETIMES .0
.0
50.0
9.2
34.0
8.7
41.2
21.5
34.7
29.6
36.3
68.9
4: HARDLY EVER 11.8
1.0
22.2
4.1
18.0
4.6
24.5
12.8
26.3
22.5
23.7
44.9
5: NEVER 52.9
4.6
27.8
5.1
48.0
12.3
25.5
13.3
28.7
24.5
31.5
59.8
COL TOTAL 100.0
8.7
100.0
18.4
100.0
25.5
100.0
52.1
100.0
85.3
100.0
190.0
Means 3.47 3.78 4.14 3.64 3.72 3.75
Std Devs 1.97 .88 .91 1.03 1.02 1.05
Unweighted N 7 15 27 51 81 181
Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
6 7 8 9 10 ROW
TOTAL
BOREDOM 1: ALWAYS 1.5
2.0
.0
.0
1.3
1.0
2.4
1.0
3.2
1.0
1.4
5.1
2: OFTEN 6.5
8.7
2.9
2.6
3.9
3.1
11.0
4.6
6.5
2.0
5.6
20.9
3: SOMETIMES 34.4
46.0
32.6
28.6
32.9
25.5
32.9
13.8
32.3
10.2
33.3
124.1
4: HARDLY EVER 33.2
44.4
40.7
35.8
32.2
25.0
31.7
13.3
35.5
11.2
34.8
129.7
5: NEVER 24.4
32.7
23.8
20.9
29.6
23.0
22.0
9.2
22.6
7.2
24.9
93.0
COL TOTAL 100.0
133.8
100.0
87.8
100.0
77.6
100.0
41.9
100.0
31.7
100.0
372.8
Means 3.73 3.85 3.85 3.60 3.68 3.76
Std Devs .96 .82 .94 1.03 1.01 .94
Unweighted N 128 84 78 45 32 367
Summary Statistics
Eta* = .16 Gamma = -.03 Rao-Scott-P: F(40,1680) = 2.66 (p= 0.00)
R = -.04 Tau-b = -.02 Rao-Scott-LR: F(40,1680) = 1.74 (p= 0.00)
Somers’ d* = -.02 Tau-c = -.02 Chisq-P(40) = 89.93
Chisq-LR(40) = 58.96
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.
Text for ‘BOREDOM’ 

1336. Now some more questions about your working conditions.
Please circle one code for each item below to show how often 
it applies to your work.
 How often... d. Are you bored at work?

Now for free-time.

Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
1 2 3 4 5 ROW
TOTAL
BORED 1: QUITE OFTEN 20.8
7.6
26.7
16.3
22.7
27.5
17.6
35.0
20.2
66.4
20.5
152.7
2: NOW AND THEN 37.3
13.6
39.5
24.1
46.8
56.8
43.4
86.2
40.5
133.0
42.0
313.7
3: ALMOST NEVER 41.9
15.3
33.8
20.6
30.5
37.0
39.0
77.6
39.3
129.3
37.5
279.8
COL TOTAL 100.0
36.5
100.0
61.0
100.0
121.3
100.0
198.7
100.0
328.8
100.0
746.2
Means 2.21 2.07 2.08 2.21 2.19 2.17
Std Devs .77 .78 .73 .72 .75 .74
Unweighted N 42 81 132 213 319 787
Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
6 7 8 9 10 ROW
TOTAL
BORED 1: QUITE OFTEN 11.0
44.9
9.3
32.0
4.7
8.9
8.5
13.2
4.6
5.0
8.6
104.0
2: NOW AND THEN 49.1
200.9
37.3
128.4
43.5
82.5
38.4
59.7
26.7
29.0
41.5
500.5
3: ALMOST NEVER 39.9
163.2
53.4
183.8
51.8
98.4
53.1
82.7
68.7
74.6
49.9
602.7
COL TOTAL 100.0
409.0
100.0
344.1
100.0
189.8
100.0
155.6
100.0
108.6
100.0
1,207.1
Means 2.29 2.44 2.47 2.45 2.64 2.41
Std Devs .65 .66 .59 .65 .57 .64
Unweighted N 391 308 194 147 99 1,139
Summary Statistics
Eta* = .21 Gamma = .23 Rao-Scott-P: F(20,1960) = 3.89 (p= 0.00)
R = .20 Tau-b = .16 Rao-Scott-LR: F(20,1960) = 3.88 (p= 0.00)
Somers’ d* = .14 Tau-c = .18 Chisq-P(20) = 112.07
Chisq-LR(20) = 111.84
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.
Text for ‘BORED’ 

285a. If sometimes or never: How often would you say you have time
 on your hands that you don't know what to do with?

Dain referenced such an association it in the comments. Here’s what the GSS reports:

Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
1 2 3 4 5 ROW
TOTAL
HLTH5 1: YES .0
.0
.0
.0
.0
.0
2.1
1.1
4.1
3.2
2.5
4.2
2: NO 100.0
8.5
100.0
19.6
100.0
15.4
97.9
50.5
95.9
74.9
97.5
168.9
COL TOTAL 100.0
8.5
100.0
19.6
100.0
15.4
100.0
51.5
100.0
78.1
100.0
173.1
Means 2.00 2.00 2.00 1.98 1.96 1.98
Std Devs .14 .20 .16
Unweighted N 10 19 14 52 82 177
Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
6 7 8 9 10 ROW
TOTAL
HLTH5 1: YES 4.3
4.2
4.3
3.7
2.2
1.1
4.9
2.1
.0
.0
3.6
11.2
2: NO 95.7
95.6
95.7
82.8
97.8
47.3
95.1
40.9
100.0
35.1
96.4
301.6
COL TOTAL 100.0
99.8
100.0
86.6
100.0
48.3
100.0
43.0
100.0
35.1
100.0
312.8
Means 1.96 1.96 1.98 1.95 2.00 1.96
Std Devs .20 .20 .15 .22 .19
Unweighted N 99 82 49 42 38 310
Summary Statistics
Eta* = .09 Gamma = -.07 Rao-Scott-P: F(9,378) = .88 (p= 0.54)
R = -.02 Tau-b = -.01 Rao-Scott-LR: F(9,378) = 1.37 (p= 0.20)
Somers’ d* = .00 Tau-c = -.01 Chisq-P(9) = 4.33
Chisq-LR(9) = 6.72
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.
Text for ‘HLTH5’

1575. Now, I'm going to ask you about various events and 
conditions that happen to people. I'm interested in those that 
happened to you during the last 12 months, that is since 
(CURRENT MONTH), 2003. As I ask you about the specific events, 
please think carefully, so I can record things accurately. a. 
First, thinking about health related matters, did any of the 
following happen to you since February/March, 1990? 5. Used 
illegal drugs (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, pills)
Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Column percent
-Weighted N
WORDSUM
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ROW
TOTAL
HLTH5 1: YES .0
.0
.0
.0
.0
.0
2.1
1.1
4.1
3.2
4.3
4.2
4.3
3.7
2.2
1.1
4.9
2.1
.0
.0
3.2
15.4
2: NO 100.0
8.5
100.0
19.6
100.0
15.4
97.9
50.5
95.9
74.9
95.7
95.6
95.7
82.8
97.8
47.3
95.1
40.9
100.0
35.1
96.8
470.5
COL TOTAL 100.0
8.5
100.0
19.6
100.0
15.4
100.0
51.5
100.0
78.1
100.0
99.8
100.0
86.6
100.0
48.3
100.0
43.0
100.0
35.1
100.0
485.9
Means 2.00 2.00 2.00 1.98 1.96 1.96 1.96 1.98 1.95 2.00 1.97
Std Devs .14 .20 .20 .20 .15 .22 .18
Unweighted N 10 19 14 52 82 99 82 49 42 38 487
Color coding: <-2.0 <-1.0 <0.0 >0.0 >1.0 >2.0 Z
N in each cell: Smaller than expected Larger than expected
Summary Statistics
Eta* = .09 Gamma = -.07 Rao-Scott-P: F(9,378) = .88 (p= 0.54)
R = -.02 Tau-b = -.01 Rao-Scott-LR: F(9,378) = 1.37 (p= 0.20)
Somers’ d* = .00 Tau-c = -.01 Chisq-P(9) = 4.33
Chisq-LR(9) = 6.72
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.
chart illustrating table
Text for ‘HLTH5’

1575. Now, I'm going to ask you about various events and 
conditions that happen to people. I'm interested in those that 
happened to you during the last 12 months, that is since 
(CURRENT MONTH), 2003. As I ask you about the specific events, 
please think carefully, so I can record things accurately. a. 
First, thinking about health related matters, did any of the 
following happen to you since February/March, 1990? 5. Used 
illegal drugs (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, pills)

I’m surprised by the low overall percentage of people that admit to using drugs, particular those with the lowest wordsum scores.

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