The Numbers Guy examines numbers in the news, business and politics. Some numbers are flat-out wrong or biased, while others are valid and help us make informed decisions. Carl Bialik tells the stories behind the stats, in daily updates on this blog and in his column published every other Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Carl, who holds a degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University, also cowrites The Daily Fix, a sports column on WSJ.com. He welcomes your comments at .
The Numbers Guy
copyright © 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Carl Bialik examines the way numbers are used, and abused.
What Family Dinners Can and Can’t Do for Teens
Even researchers who question findings suggesting family meals prevent teens from using drugs generally support the idea of parents and children dining at the same table more often.
Food Photos With a Purpose: Diet Data
Statisticians have improved on raw data about Americans' dietary habits. Now digital cameras could make far more raw data available for number-crunching.
China’s New Child Policy Leaves Many Questions
China's relaxation of its one-child policy won't affect the labor supply for decades. Demographers are split on what other effects it will have.
Sports Make Final Call on Technology
Tennis's use of cameras and software to aid officiating calls illustrate how the desire to provide an entertaining, fast and final decision can conflict with full disclosure on technology's limitations.
Is Fast Food Bad Value for the Public?
Researchers attempted to measure the amount of government benefits received by front-line fast-food workers. Economists aren't sure what to make of the findings.
The Slavery Reparations Calculations
A planned lawsuit by Caribbean nations seeking reparations for slavery from former colonial powers is the latest effort that will face the challenge of putting a price tag on slavery and its legacy.
A House — and Senate — Divided
Political scientists have agreed on how to measure polarization of Congress and compare legislatures across the decades, and their measures show two major parties as far apart as they have ever been before.
Timing Debt Deadlines
Deadlines have helped focus Washington on the debt limit, though the wide range of dates discussed have muddied matters.
Government Shutdown’s Price Tag
Economists and former political officials debate how to estimate the cost of the governmental shutdown to the federal government, and to the broader economy.
How Will the New Health-Care Exchanges Do?
Uncertainty over effects of opposition campaigns and over employers' decisionmaking cloud forecasts for the new health-care exchanges.