Fall 2021

Statistical Ethics and Institutions 

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-108  |  Mathematics and Statistics, as STAT-108

Moodle site: Course


Andreas V. Georgiou (Section 01)


(Offered as STAT 108 and ECON 108) This course will provide a rigorous presentation of fundamental statistical principles and ethics. We will discuss standards for relationships between statisticians and policymakers, researchers, the press, and other institutions, as well as the standards for interactions between statisticians and their employers/clients, colleagues and research subjects. The course will explore how the interplay of institutions (e.g., organizations, systems, laws, codes of professional ethics) and the broader sociopolitical culture affect the production of reliable, high quality statistics. Students will also explore the implications of statistical principles and ethics for the operation of national, regional, and international official statistical systems. In addition, we will investigate the proper place of official statistics within a government system that operates with separate branches. Students will gain a strong foundation in international statistical principles and professional ethics as well as an understanding and the tools to assess the quality of the statistics they use. The course is designed to make students responsible and effective supporters of reliable, high quality statistics in their professions. Students will particularly learn how to assess the quality of official statistics produced by governments and how to identify areas for improvement. Examples, case studies, readings from statistical practice, and discussion will provide a full appreciation of real world applications. The course is also intended for non-majors interested in an introduction to quantitative social science and the use of data in public policy.

Limited to 30 students. Visiting Scholar Andreas Georgiou.


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022