Median income over time is tricky

by Russ Roberts on February 2, 2011

in Dinner Table Economics, Standard of Living

I had a dinner party the other night–the guests were the starting five of the Boston Celtics. I know that averages give a lot of weight to outliers, so I used the median to measure the height of the dinner party. My wife and I have four children, three boys and a girl, so the tallest member of my family–my oldest son–became the median height of the people in my house–5 foot 9 inches. After the Celtics left, the median height of the people in my house became the median height of my family, my middle son who is 5 foot 4 inches. Did eating dinner with the Celtics cause my family to get shorter?

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