Friday, March 26, 2010

An Amazing Find, which I cannot disclose:)

I recently came to agreement with Konda to work on their new monthly Barometer survey and have been spending the better part of the last two days in their office near the Saibesaray (also known as 6S and Cincon by the Eziks) stadium for the inaugural issue.

What they were looking for was an economist to glance over their data and gain new insights, as well as relate the results of the survey to economic developments/expectations. What I was looking for was to get new insights into the average Turk's perceptions on economic and political developments in these interesting times.

Anyway, it was a really straining two days, as I had to learn to use SPSS (I already have degraded myself in the last few years by switching from Matlab to Stat-a (I actually had a job applicant once who spelled it like that on her CV and claiming she was proficient it, and she continued to pronounce it like that- sort of like Wall-e - in the interview; obviously, I never tried to find out if she really was) and then from Stata to Eviews after becoming a market economist. But I never thought I could go as low of SPSS:) I also had to deal with using Word 2007, which looks like a giant Lego screen and not only type with a Turkish keyboard, but also in Turkish! But at the end, I did hit goldmine this morning...

As for the survey, other than the standard stuff on respondent characteristics and demographics, the survey asks the respondents on how they, their city and the country have been affected by the crisis as well as their views on the recent political developments such as Balyoz, Ergenekon and the like. The results will appear on their subscription-only report, so I am not allowed to divulge anything, but they hint at complete political polarization and no evidence of economic polarization. A corollary of the latter is that economics is not playing a major role in voter preferences right now, and if you saw the current voting patterns, you'd be surprised, to say the very least!

I wish I could share the graphs of the the distribution of voting preferences based on economic and political polarization, which caused quite a bit excitement here at Konda a couple of hours ago, but if you are interested in learning more, I suggest you contact them [Important Disclaimer: I am being paid a fixed consulting fee, not a share of revenues, so I have no incentive in marketing their reports].

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