Tuesday, July 22, 2008

curious correlate

When you have one correlation, you raise an eyebrow. But when you have more than 20 correlations pointing in the same direction, you start building a strong case for causality.

David Stuckler, a research associate at Cambridge University, speaking of a recent study that draws a strong correlation between "the rapid rise in tuberculosis cases in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union ... with the receipt of loans from the International Monetary Fund" in Rise in TB Is Linked to Loans From I.M.F. in this morning's New York Times.

The piece continues: "Critics of the fund have suggested that its financial requirements lead governments to reduce spending on health care to qualify for loans. This, the authors say, helps explain the connection."

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