Today in Bad Charts

Today in bad charts, I offer you this sample from a new paper on clustering in IPO underwriting commissions. Notice where the black “line” is? The line of data obscures the data.

[Update] As someone suggests in a comment to this post, a histogram would be better.


  1. Paul, the "black line" is the data!

    I'm sure Tufte would say to present this is as a histogram.


  2. I have to agree. The black line is data.

  3. Originally saw this on Felix Salmon's blog ( and thought the same thing until I read the comments there. Crazy how the 7% line is so tightly packed to make it seem like the trend line. No big deal, otherwise keep up the great work!

  4. pwclarky says:

    This work seems to update a classic paper by Jay Ritter – "The Seven Percent Solution" :… … similar charts there.