I am active both on economics and cross-validated stackexchange and I've noted a LOT more homework questions at this site (including a lot of effort-less ones), than on cross-validated.

Given that, in my experience, many students struggle with both economics (especially micro) and stats I wonder why that is.

Or are am I simply overlooking something else?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The proportion of homework-type questions on Economics SE is certainly higher than on Cross-Validated SE (because the latter has many more higher-level questions). But is there any evidence that the absolute number is higher? $\endgroup$ Sep 28 '17 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I am interested in proportions, as it seems the only fair base of comparison given the sheer amount of questions and the difference between CV and Econ. I did try to fiddle around a bit with the SEDE for more quant answers, but my inexperience with queries blocks me from looking into the details. A simple search for homework on both econ and CV certainly returns more hits on the latter (48 vs 631), but as I said it's hardly fair to compare absolute numbers. There are 5234 questions here and roughly 112000 on CV, so that makes 0.9% and 0.5% respectively. Very rough of course $\endgroup$ Sep 29 '17 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ I would argue that absolute number is a more interesting comparison. The main issue here is that because Economics SE has far fewer higher-level questions, its homework-type questions seem to have more prominence. $\endgroup$ Sep 29 '17 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ Could it be that the name of the website itself can cause this? If it would be "Statistics Stack exchange" would it attract more homework users? $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '17 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ @JoaoBotelho Possibly, although it would be hard to test :). In fairness though I doubt it. Given that the URL is stats.stackexchange.com it seems pretty clear to me that is the stats forum. Then again people might be scared of some of the high level discussions going on there. $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '17 at 9:54

Hard to say whether we get more homework questions or not. However, a look at the statistics might suggest we don't:

  • The first post in CV was in Feb 2009, which is 103 months ago. The first post here was in Nov 2014, which is 34 months ago.

  • CV has 63,100 closed questions as of today. We have 7,307.

So, while we have existed 33% of CV's lifespan, we have got 12% of their closed votes numbers.

Surely, a more definitive analysis would require a breakdown in terms of type of closure (which maybe can be produced with a query).

PS: CV has a widely used self-study tag, which has 4,900 questions. That is around 95% the total number of questions that we have got. So in terms of volume, they might get more on-topic homework type questions. This does not tell us however about off-topic homework type questions.


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