A Tale of Two Vices
The purpose of this paper is to provide a written critique of a research article written by John Rolfe entitled “A Tale of Two Vices: An Applied Economic Analysis of Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption.” In this paper I will offer a detailed analysis of the dependent and independent variables used in the study and I will offer an objective viewpoint on the effectiveness of the sampling methods used and the reliability of the study.
The author begins his article by describing and defining his purpose for the research project. As a college student he moved from the Netherlands to the United States to study at the University of New Hampshire. The differences in tobacco ...view middle of the document...
However, this factor was not given consideration in his research study.
According to “About.com Psychology,” (2011) the dependent variable is what is measured in an experiment (para. 1). The dependent variable responds to the independent variable. Establish first the dependent variable when beginning a research project. In the article, John Rolfe selected “household expenditure on alcohol and tobacco consumed at home during the year 2007” (Rolfe, 2011, para. 8). Rolfe is interested in what caused the households to drink in 2007. The data gathered by Rolfe was from 63 different countries. The sampled countries included both developing countries and advanced countries. Rolfe collected data from 63 countries but fails to tell how the collection of data occurred.
According to “About.com Psychology,” (2011) the independent variable is the characteristic of an experiment (para 1). The variable manipulates or changes. The independent variable affects the dependent variable. An unemployment rate of a country, education length, life expectancy, labor participation rate, the degree of health insurance a person has, government regulations, and the economic dependency on alcohol and tobacco production influence the dependent variable. The choices of independent variables are endless. The smallest change can influence the dependent variable and alter the results of the experiment.
The researcher in this scenario should have mailed survey to individuals in the 63 countries. Only closed ended questions are on the survey. The first question would be if the person drinks or uses tobacco. If the answer is no these surveys can be set aside. This is an example of a nominal measurement. Additional basic questions would include time of consumption, is alcohol used alone or with tobacco and vice versa. The amount of consumption, time the consumption occurs, where the consumption takes place, does that person consume alone or with friends or both. The age, gender, and economic standing of the person drinking would also be necessary. The amount of alcohol purchased may affect the amount of consumption. The number of questions will increase the amount of data collected. Ordinal measurement system sorts the data into classification and order. This allows the data to be sorted and compiled revealing the factors with the greatest influence on the dependent variable. The conclusions provided by Rolfe state the following had the greatest influence on the consumption of tobacco or alcohol:...