Found on Wikipedia by Kate Owens: a chart of education by income and race. At each level of education, white Americans outearn Asian-Americans. But overall, Asian Americans outearn white Americans. How does this happen?
The answer, of course, is that Asian Americans have a higher level of education overall. If the two groups had the same overall level of education, white Americans would outearn Asian Americans. It’s an example of Simpson’s paradox in the wild. (Note: one example of Simpson’s paradox at the Wikipedia article involves characters called “Lisa” and “Bart”.)
The Wikipedia chart is based on 2003 data. I would like to be able to reconstruct this with present data, but unfortunately more recent data seems to not break out Asian Americans separately.
One thought on “Simpson’s paradox in the wild”
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