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Monkey Cage: The denominator fallacy rears its ugly head


This fallacy is so well known that you don’t see it much anymore, when people make comparisons without correcting for the obvious denominator.

For example, graphs that show the dramatic rise over time in the cost on some item or another in nominal dollars, not adjusting for inflation. Or comparisons between states or countries that don’t adjust for population (e.g., look how many more murders occur in New Jersey than in Mississippi!).

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