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Lecture

Lecture #1- Introduction.doc

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Department
Economics
Course
ECON 2B03
Professor
Jeff Racine
Semester
Fall

Description
September 9, 2011 Lecture #1: Introduction • Statistics: A branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, presentation and interpretation of data Can be separated into two categories: 1. Descriptive Statistics- which seeks to describe general characteristics of a set of data. 2. Inferential Statistics- which seeks to draw inferences about (unknown) features of a population based on a (known) sample drawn from a population. Question: Why do we need statistics? • Mainly due to uncertainty (we can’t be certain about many things in life, even though we know they clearly exist). Example: What is the actual average height of all the people in the world at a given point in time? • You would take a sample of people from the population and then make inferences about it. Variable and Distributions • In any statistical study, we analyze information/data obtained from individuals. • Individuals can be people, animals, households, plants or any object of interest. • Individual: Are the objects described in a set of data ie: people • Variable: Is any characteristic of an individual -> Varies among individuals (as opposed to a constant which does not).
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