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ECON 2B03 (45)

Lecture 1.docx

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Jeff Racine

Overview Statistics is a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, presentation, and interpretation of data The field can be divided into two broad categories: - Descriptive statistics, which seeks to describe general characteristics of a set of data - Inferential statistics, which seeks to draw inferences about(unknown) features of a population based on a (known) sample drawn from a population Broadly speaking, statistics provides a rigorous framework for describing, analyzing, and drawing inference on the basis of data Question – why do we need statistics? Answer – mainly due to uncertainty (we cannot know with certainty many things in life, even though they clearly exist) Example (why do we need statistics?) What is the actual average height of all people in the world at a given point in time? Clearly in this situation we must make inferences about this true but unknown quantity based on a limited amount of information, i.e. a ‘sample’ drawn from the ‘population’ The methods you will learn in this course have universal potential application Variables 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 A variable is any characteristic of an individual A variable varies among individuals (as opposed to a ‘constant’, whi
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