Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Communicating quantitative information: tables vs graphs

Klein, Torsten L. (2014): Communicating quantitative information: tables vs graphs.


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In applied statistics and computational econometrics a key task for researchers is to bring the sizable but unstructured body of numeric evidence, for example from Monte Carlo simulation, in a form ready for introducing to scientific dialog. At their disposal they find established means of arrangement: narrative text, tables, graphs. Employing classical principles of communication to evaluate their suitability graphical devices seem optimal. They absorb large quantities of data, and organize content into a productive tool. Graphs confirm the advantage when put to work in a standard simulation exercise. However, theory and application contrast with the norm observed in peer-reviewed journals – by a wide margin and with considerable persistency researchers prefer tables.

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