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My girlfriend is an Actuarial Analyst at a large insurance company in the Netherlands and because we'll soon have our two year anniversary, I thought of gifts for her.

On Proof: Math is beautiful I discovered these Distribution pluffies.

So here's my question: What distribution is of the most relevance in the field of an econometrician?

The available pluffies are:

  • Standard Normal Distribution
  • t Distribution
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Log Normal Distribution
  • Continuous Uniform Distribution
  • Weibull Distribution
  • Cauchy Distribution
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Gumbel Distribution
  • Erlang Distribution

Any help much appreciated.

EDIT: Thanks a lot for all the suggestions despite this being just off-topic! I'll get her the t Distribution pluffy.

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closed as off topic by whuber May 6 '13 at 21:42

Questions on Cross Validated are expected to relate to statistics within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Buy her a vacuum; chicks love gifts like that. $\endgroup$ – Joshua Ulrich May 4 '11 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds silly, but how about choosing on the basis of colour? (Otherwise, I would probably second the Cauchy choice -- although a positive distribution with infinite mean might be better if you want to indicate something about the depth of your affection ...) $\endgroup$ – Ben Bolker May 4 '11 at 19:27
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You gotta get her one with some Kurtosis. Maybe the t-distribution. And be sure and write a loving note along the lines of, "Baby, when I think of fat tails, I think of you. Your kurtosis makes you non-normal."

My wife digs it when I get sappy like that. I have the scars to prove it.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, when is the divorce final? $\endgroup$ – bill_080 May 4 '11 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ No such thing as too many tail puns. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker May 5 '11 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ Liked the suggestion about the note. Thanks for your help. $\endgroup$ – Philipp May 5 '11 at 8:26
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You're in big trouble if you're asking us for gift advice.

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  • $\begingroup$ True, we don't have a vested interest and we may want to be funny (which may appear we are mean). Unless you want to cut us in a deal. $\endgroup$ – Roman Luštrik May 4 '11 at 21:17
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Insurance is all about skewed distributions with long tails: think amount of loss. These also typically have only positive values. The log-normal distribution looks most like one of those. Another good option is the Gumbel distribution, which comes up in extreme value theory.

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Aren't econometricians concerned with the price of t (distributions) in China? It has the large (on occasion, infinite) kurtosis recommended by @JD Long, too.

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From the list I would pick standard normal. After all regression is the main tool of econometrician and usually econometrician can rely only on asymptotic results, hence standard normal rules them all :)

Having said that I would not like to get a standard normal distribution pluffy (I am not a girl, but can be considered econometrician) for standard normal is so widely used that it is a bit mundane. So you can choose log-normal, since econometricians use log-log regression extensively or Cauchy as a reminder, that not all distributions have finite moments.

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  • $\begingroup$ His GF could misunderstand Cauchy: "or Cauchy as a reminder, that not all distributions have finite moments.". :P $\endgroup$ – Roman Luštrik May 4 '11 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Roman, good catch :) $\endgroup$ – mpiktas May 4 '11 at 18:53

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