• 18 Jul 2011 at 1:30 PM

Today in Data Mining/Penis Jokes

It’s not easy to generate alpha as an analyst at a quant fund these days. Most of the signals that are likely to make money have been discovered, so you find yourself sitting around running a lot of back-testing regressions on anything that could, however implausibly, predict financial results. It’s a stressful, lonely job, and if you’re low on good ideas your mind may wander to whatever is closest to hand.

That appears to be how Tatu Westling of the University of Helsinki came up with this:

The question is whether and how strongly the average sizes of male organ are associated with GDPs between 1960 and 1985? It is argued here that the average size – the erect length, to be precise – of male organ in population has a strong predictive power of economic development during the period. The exact causality can only be speculated at this point but the correlations are robust.

What could possibly go wrong? We took a look.

1. Data quality

Not everyone lives by Bridgewater’s culture of ruthless honesty. Could the data be skewed upwards a bit? Nah, it has to be right – we found it on the internet:

The data regarding the physical dimensions of male organs is openly available online and has been compiled [by an unknown party] from an extensive number of sources. Large part of the data has been collected by health authorities but some observations are self-reported. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, self-reported data might be biased, supposedly upwards. However, a moment of reflection with the global penile length distribution map and anecdotal ‘Internet-sourced evidence’ reveals that the self-reported figures are in-line with anticipated patterns. Still, measurement errors can not be ruled out.

2. Correlation vs. causation

So you found that penis length explained 15% of cross-country GDP variation in 1985. But you’re looking to make investing decisions and you don’t just want a past correlation – you want to know if it’ll hold up in the future. What’s the mechanism here? Behavioral finance provides the explanation:

[I]n an evidently Freudian line of thought the notion of self-esteem might be at play. In particular, male organ size s and income y could be considered factors in the aggregate ‘self-esteem production function’ f and hence affect utility u. Assuming the following functional form and decreasing returns of self-esteem, namely u = f(y + s) and f’(∙) > 0, f”(∙) < 0, the ‘small male organ’ countries would gain more utility by expanding their economy than the ‘large male organ’ countries. Actually the latter populations would simply exploit their nature-given, non-disposable groin-area endowments.

3. Wait, seriously?

Even with the reservations outlined above the ‘male organ hypothesis’ is worth pursuing in future research. It clearly seems that the ‘private sector’ deserves more credit for economic development than is typically acknowledged.

So … no, then?

Sadly, Westling makes no policy recommendations. But we see a clear investing opportunity, especially if these results can be extended from countries to companies, and we look forward to analysts prying into which CEOs are overcompensating by improving margins and growing market share, and which are just exploiting their groin-area endowments.

Male Organ and Economic Growth: Does Size Matter? [Helsinki Center of Economic Research viaInfectious Greed]

101 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (101)

  1. Posted by InfiniteGuest | July 18, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    An Unknown Party = J. C. Davies

  2. Posted by Wahoo | July 18, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I usually account for at least 9.5 times growth.nn-Diglernn

  3. Posted by Also A Guest | July 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    **Insert Sen. Weiner Joke Here**

  4. Posted by The Joke Briefer | July 18, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    There are so many jokes that could come from this post. u00a0Oh! u00a0There’s one right there!u00a0

  5. Posted by Metronome | July 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    During Big Dick phases, I find that the tempo of the swinging to be a better predictor of equity performance.

  6. Posted by #REF | July 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Chinese economic miracle explained.u00a0nn

  7. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    We unreservedly endorse this researchnnn-JapannnP.S.u00a0 We hear China has some problems with it

  8. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    The man arrived and stood before Daliou2019s desk. Dalio explained what the discussion was about and said, u201cI donu2019t imagine that your dick is big enough for this job”.nMay I see it please?

  9. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    As opposed to the heretofore used girth/angle of the dangle ratio?

  10. Posted by Just sayin | July 18, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Well then Asia is fucked amirite?

  11. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    In other news Karen Owens was nominated for the Nobel prize in economic research.

  12. Posted by Penis | July 18, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    penis………penIS………PENIS!!!

  13. Posted by InfiniteGuest | July 18, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    You’d have to think long and hard to whip one out that we haven’t all seen before, though.

  14. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    *clap* Good post Matt

  15. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    If this is the case, the SEC is sitting on a gold mine in their browser histories.

  16. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    ((Length x Diameter) + (weight/girth))/angle of the tip^2. As long as you remember that formula, you shouldn’t have any problems comparing current sizes to past sizes.u00a0nn-Randy Marsh

  17. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    So, we should be overweight Ireland and underweight sub-Saharan Africa?

  18. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Is that tip-to-base, or tip-to-balls?

  19. Posted by Sean Connery | July 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    The penis mightier than the sword.

  20. Posted by Egger | July 18, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    how about egg shaped ones?u00a0

  21. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    “Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, self-reported data might be biased, supposedly upwards.”nnToo easy.nn-Michael Scott

  22. Posted by trojan | July 18, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Koro is no laughing matternhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penis_panic

  23. Posted by Toolongtoshort | July 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Then African poverty remains a mistery

  24. Posted by Shecky Neste Oy | July 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    An ugly female researcher at the University of Helsinki’s “Penis Related Economic Studies” group walked into the researchers’ lounge and said to the other rearchers there, “Study Candidate #4 has a tattoo on his penis that reads “SWAN”.u00a0nnAt that announcement, a beautiful researcher left to check out Candidate 4′ penis. u00a0She returned sometime later and said, “You were mistaken. u00a0After I thoroughly examined it it read “SASKATCHEWAN”.

  25. Posted by Seaman Bodine | July 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    i work on wall street, what is a “male organ”?

  26. Posted by Steve | July 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    i prefer to measure from under the balls. u00a0Gives me that extra bit to cross the key 8″ threshold. u00a0nnAs for this being predictive, wouldnt it imply that Zimbabwe would have insane GDP and Asian nations to have no GDP?

  27. Posted by Financial_Servicer | July 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Flawed. How do I know? Africa, or so I hear.

  28. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    “nom nom nom nom nom ….”nn-L.T.

  29. Posted by Louis Winthorpe III | July 18, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Great article, a little unimpressed with the tags.u00a0 nnAdditions: Private Sector, Sensitive nature of the subject matter, Large male organ countries, Global penile length distribution map, Upward biasnnetc.

  30. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    it’s that flacid looking object that sits in the area above what used to be your balls. u00a0Ask your MD for them back and it will all make sense.

  31. Posted by 8 points | July 18, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    General post content –u00a0a goal from the crossu00a0zonen”What could possibly go wrong” — into theu00a0crown ring!u00a0

  32. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    You’ve got it backwards– he’s saying that countries w., umm, underendowment are going to outperform economically in order to compensate for feelings of inadequacy.

  33. Posted by InfiniteGuest | July 18, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    A classic, I learned it as WENDY/WELCOME TO JAMAICA HAVE A NICE DAY.

  34. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    You thought you had a 12 inch dick, ’til you found out you were holding the ruler backwards.n-Bored Quant

  35. Posted by Somnolento | July 18, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    ExtenZe now an official policy prescription for economic malaise.

  36. Posted by Dick Gozenya | July 18, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Penis joke punchlines only:nn1. u00a0Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.n2. u00a0I can’t ignore it; it’s nibbling on my popcorn.n3. u00a0Because Art Model didn’t want a dick bigger than him on the team!n4. u00a0It only does one show a night.n5. u00a0It takes a ladder to give it a blow job.n6. u00a0It tips with millions.n7. u00a0″Rumpled Steelskin”.n8. u00a0Did you see the size of the dick on that bug?n9. u00a0You don’t have to beg your wife to blow your paycheck.n10. u00a0″Oh my God! u00a0Bernie Schwartz is dead!!”n11. u00a0″Is that you, Too Tall?”n12. u00a0″A hermaphrodite? u00a0You mean it has a penis and a brain?”u00a0

  37. Posted by Guest | July 18, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    “Itu2019s a stressful, lonely job, and if youu2019re low on good ideas your mind may wander to whatever is closest to hand”nnKudos.

  38. Posted by Asia Carrera | July 18, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Hey!

  39. Posted by Guesticles | July 18, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    “The pathwurd itthhhs – peeenis” – The Cable Guy

  40. Posted by Anonymous | July 18, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Ni hao. My penis is bery bery small. This backward.

  41. Posted by The Oracle | July 18, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Double hey!!

  42. Posted by Ngdfhgf | July 18, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    I suppose after 1985 his theory does not hold?

  43. Posted by Chaz | July 18, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    I have a small penis but I’m a big dick

  44. Posted by Dsk | July 19, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    I’m investigating the source of my data now, and I have to agree that it has an upwards bias.u00a0 And a little to the left, too.

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