Home > China, Journalism and Economics > Chinese Tourism by the Numbers

Chinese Tourism by the Numbers

Christopher Baulding shows what fact-checking journalists‘ story lines with data looks like:

The problem with this simplistic analysis is that it relies on incredibly narrow data points to read into an economy of 1.3 billion people.  In statistics parlance, these are all incredibly biased samples for different reasons on very narrow sub-groups.  As I have noted before, China is not nearly data poor as is widely believed though not as data rich as other places.  However, we have much better and wider data on the state of Chinese tourism than such simplistic narrow measures.

For my students: keep in mind, journalists writing about economics often studied journalism, not economics, and even less likely, statistics or other disciplines requiring rigorous analysis. Read Bloomberg, WSJ, etc. with caution. Check the numbers against other known data. Make simple assumptions to test the reasonableness of the story.

I’m afraid I didn’t do much myself to help last week: just a bike ride through the countryside with friends and a few stays at budget hotels.


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