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I'm reading the paper "Big Data: New Tricks for Econometrics" by Hal R. Varian here. Can someone point out what does "p < 0.001 , p = 0.01" in Figure 4, Page 12 mean. They haven't been mentioned in the text. I guessed it's the fraction of people that survived in the subtree rooted at that node but that doesn't seem to be the case as the calculations don't match. Any help will be highly appreciated.

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This is a p-value. Varian writes the ctree "chooses the structure of the tree using a sequence of hypothesis tests".

I don't know what those hypothesis tests are, but Varian cites Hothorn, Hornik, and Zeileis (2006) for the method. Maybe look at that paper?

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In general, in research papers involving statistics, "p < 0.05" represents the fact that the results are statistically significant. "p" is the p-value. For example, "p < 0.05" formally means that you can reject the null hypothesis at a 5% level. On other (more comprehensible) words, it means that the results are significant, and that you can trust them (there are many limits in this sentence, but it's for a better understanding).

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