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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 156
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, July 30, 2012 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract - #304754
Title: How Economic and Social Statistics Became the Stepchildren of the Profession
Author(s): Othmar W. Winkler*+
Companies: Georgetown University
Address: The McDonough School of Business,, 3700 O St. Washington, DC, DC, 20057, United States
Keywords: History of Statistics ; Economic Statistics ; Social Statistics

A history of statistics as the 'history of the measurement of uncertainty' is like a history of automobiles as 'the history of car accidents'. Keep in mind that statistics evolved out of the administrative task of 'describing the state', its people and their economic activities. Of concern were the qualitative aspects of statistics, its concepts, their international comparability and survey techniques. Later Index numbers became the rave. The study of business cycles stimulated developments in socio-economic statistics and forecasting. With random sampling the quantitative aspects of statistics, probability and mathematical statistics became important. Developments in agricultural experimentation, parameter estimation and decision making under uncertainty extended these developments further, influencing economic and social statistics and treating them like statistics in the sciences. Exc

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