At The Margin


#11: Is Christmas really coming earlier every year? Dr. Nathan Cunningham

Season 1.5, Ep. 2

Welcome to the Christmas Special part 2. Don't forget to check out part one if you haven't already.

This is another fun chat about a very important topic – is Christmas really coming earlier every year? This is strictly speaking a statistics question but I think its one listeners of the podcast will find very interesting. I am joined by Nathan Cunningham, statistician and data scientist, who has just completed his PhD in statistics at Warwick University. In his spare time, Nathan uses the complicated statistical methods from his day job to shed some light on some of life's often overlooked, but nonetheless important, questions.

We discuss Nathan's study, which has received a lot of media attention in recent years (especially around the festive period). We discuss the methods involved and whether or not Nathan finds that Christmas is coming earlier or whether it is all in our imagination. There is something here for everyone – the data nerds will love to hear how he answers the question and, if you’re like me, you’ll also be dying to hear whether there is indeed a creep to the festive start time.

We touch on some of the other topics Nathan has covered in his spare time, including the point at which the 'golden age' of the Simpsons ended. I highly recommend checking out Nathan's blog at

If you enjoyed this episode, leave a review on itunes and tag us on Twitter or Instagram @IrishEconPod! Thanks for all the support and I hope you have a very Happy Christmas!

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