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User's corner: The Hunger Games

Pop culture and the social sciences have a close and interesting relationship. Researchers have analyzed Harry Potter in psychological studies, and economics professors reference everything from Linkin Park to South Park in their lectures. In his blog, Brett Keller, now a public health researcher, uses Stata to explore the pop culture phenom The Hunger Games.

The story of Katniss Everdeen may not sound like an opportunity for statistical analysis, but Keller skillfully intertwines fiction with real-life data.

Keller builds on the idea of the odds of being selected for the Games. He uses a chi-squared test to analyze the likelihood that the Gamemakers rigged the lottery to enhance the drama of the Games with more compelling tributes.

The Hunger Games provides a perfect opportunity for Keller to explore survival analysis using a Cox proportional hazards model. His results give interesting insight into the ranking system used by the Gamemakers and the Games themselves, revealing that perhaps the odds are not in anyone's favor.

Read Keller's blog post »


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