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A lesson from the worst paper of the year and a Turing test for economists

The popular press loves marijuana research. Even more so because much of it is dreck.

I was reading a review of what has been called the worst paper of the year in marijuana research:

I noticed that the principal investigator Hans Breiter was claiming to be a psychiatrist and mathematician. That is an unusual combination so I decided to take a closer look. I immediately found out the claim was a lie. In fact, the totality of math credentials of Hans Breiter consist of some logic/philosophy courses during a year abroad at St. Andrews while he was a pre-med student at Northwestern. Even being an undergraduate major in mathematics does not make one a mathematician, just as being an undergraduate major in biology does not makes one a doctor.

I’d like to add another one:  Being an undergraduate major in economics does not make one an economist.

And with that, I propose a Turing test for economists:  When someone claims to be an economist, ask them (1) which statistics package they use and (2) when was the last time they used it.