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From |
Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> |

To |
"statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
Re: y versus x, or x versus y? [was: Re: st: quantile-quantile plots] |

Date |
Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:09:35 +0100 |

Martyn Sherriff forwarded this link <http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/107800/is-x-plotted-against-y-or-is-y-plotted-against-x> Nick njcoxstata@gmail.com On 16 April 2013 09:54, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote: > Very interesting example; thanks for thinking about my question. > > I studied economics when young. I can't recollect if I was puzzled > then that demand curves (your example) and supply curves were plotted > with price on the vertical axis. But it also seems fair to regard > price as the outcome or response that is being explained here, namely > that price arises out of the interaction of supply and demand, just as > much as the other way around. So on that argument this kind of diagram > is not an exception. > > No doubt all the real economists and econometricians will correct me > if I am wrong. > > I must look in the book reviewed in http://ejpe.org/pdf/4-2-br-6.pdf > > That review in turn yields a reference to broaden the horizons of all > inequality-measuring economists and social scientists: > > Derobert, Laurent, and Thieriot, Guillaume. 2003. The Lorenz curve as > an archetype: a > historico-epistemological study. The European Journal of the History of Economic > Thought, 10 (4): 573-585. > > But in terms of my original question, the language usages > > plot y versus x > > plot x versus y > > -- and whatever logic lies behind them -- it strikes me now hat a > simpler explanation is just the algebraic convention of naming x > coordinate first, as in "its coordinates are (x, y)", so there is > merely a clash of conventions here. > > Nick > njcoxstata@gmail.com > > > On 16 April 2013 04:07, Yu Chen, PhD <profyuchen@gmail.com> wrote: > >> In economics, sometimes the vertical axis is used to plot independent >> variable, and the horizontal axis is used to plot the dependent >> variable. For example, when price goes up, you may buy less food. >> Price is plotted in vertical axis, and the quantity of food is plotted >> in horizontal axis. The curve is downward sloping. That might be the >> reason that you heard people saying plot x versus y. > > On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 5:21 AM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote: > >>> * A note on "versus" or "against". I was brought up -- probably in >>> school physics, but it was last century, so I can't give precise >>> recollections -- to say "plot y versus x" where y is, not >>> surprisingly, whatever is plotted on the y or vertical axis. That >>> seems to me to match mathematics and physics usages such as y is a >>> function of x, or output is a function of time, where the dependent >>> variable (outcome, response) is always mentioned first. But I've come >>> across people saying "plot x versus y". If anyone has a logic for that >>> usage, I'd be interested to hear it. * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**References**:**y versus x, or x versus y? [was: Re: st: quantile-quantile plots]***From:*Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>

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