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Statistics and Public Policy

By: Bruce D Spencer

284 pages, Illus

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Feb 1997 | #71488 | ISBN: 0198523416
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £96.99 $119/€109 approx

About this book

Statistics -- meaning statistical data, statistical methods, and statistical thinking -- play important and fascinating roles in public issues. Yet, these roles are sometimes unknown to statistics students and even professional statisticians. This book indicates some connections between statistics and public issues such as government policy- or decision-making, public administration, law, and public debate. This book describes examples of statistics in public policy areas as disparate as national defence, AIDS diffusion, DNA fingerprinting, human rights violations and scientific manpower among other areas. Although a small amount of statistical training is assumed--a minimum of a half year of undergraduate level statistics--the emphasis is on ideas rather than technical detailor mathematical generality. This low technical content makes it accessible to not only statisticians but social scientists as well. It will also be a useful resource for teachers of first year statistics.


Introduction; PART I: USES OF STATISTICS FOR DESCRIPTION; 1. Issues in DNA Fingerprinting; 2. The Emerging Field of Human Rights Statistics; 3. Making Defense Decisions: What Role Might a Statistical Perspective Play?; 4. Ethics, Objectivity, and Politics: Statistics in a Public Policy Perspective; 5. Normative Terminology: "Normal" in Statistics and Elsewhere; PART II DATA COLLECTION; 6. Statistics In Washington, 1935-1945; 7. Periodic and Rolling Samples and Censuses; 8. Numbering the People: Issues of Accuracy, Privacy and Open Government; 9. Surveying Individuals with Disabilities; 10. Constructed Social Networks in the Study of Diffusion; PART III USES OF STATISTICS FOR POLICY ANALYSIS; 11. Why Forecasts Fail and Policies Are Often Frustrated; 12. Experimentation: Just Do It!; 13. Talents, Rewards and Professional Choice: A General Equilibrium Analysis; 14. Statistical Analysis for the Masses; Index

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