This is great and well worth reading!
This post is a little off-topic, as the exercise I am about to illustrate is not one that most corpus linguists will have to engage in.
However, I think it is a good example of why a mathematical approach to statistics (instead of the usual rote-learning of tests) is extremely valuable.
Case study: The declared ‘deficit’ in the USS pension scheme
At the time of writing nearly two hundred thousand university staff in the UK are active members of a pension scheme called USS. This scheme draws in income from these members and pays out to pensioners. Every three years the pension is valued, which is not a simple process. The valuation consists of two aspects, both uncertain:
- to value the liabilities of the pension fund, which means the obligations to current pensioners and future pensioners (current active members), and
- to estimate the future asset value of the pension fund…
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