International Statistical Review

Statistics and the Wealth of Nations

Stephen M. Stigler

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The relationship of statistics and national prosperity is not a simple causal one, but some historical examples suggest a persistent association. A number of examples are considered, from the political arithmetic of the seventeenth century to the quality assurance methods of the 1950s, and a few speculative conclusions are offered.

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Internat. Statist. Rev., Volume 73, Number 2 (2005), 223-226.

First available in Project Euclid: 4 August 2005

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John Graunt William Petty Statistical education Process design


Stigler, Stephen M. Statistics and the Wealth of Nations. Internat. Statist. Rev. 73 (2005), no. 2, 223--226.

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  • [1] Graunt, John (1662). Natural and Political Observations Mentioned in a Following Index and Made upon the Bills of Mortality.
  • [2] Petty, William (1691). Political Arithmetick. Written in the 1670s.
  • [3] Stigler, S.M. (1986). The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.