The Elements of Statistics:

with Applications to Economics and the Social Sciences

James B. Ramsey

Department of Economics

New York University

with Labs by H. Joseph Newton, Texas A&M Univ.  and Jane Harvill, Missippi State Univ.

                   View Text                    



Readers' Contributions

Power Point Presentations by Chapter

Description of the Text

This is an introductory statistics textbook that is designed for the discriminating economics student and for the instructor who wants his or her students to acquire a clear understanding of probability and some insight into the theory of statistical inference. Every effort is made to give the reader an intuitive grasp of the concepts. There are many novel features in the book including easy to use software that allows students to simulate and explore statistical concepts on their own. Experimentation is a key concept in the text; readers are encouraged and guided in performing their own experiments, either live experiments designed to illustrate probability distributions or computer experiments that enable readers to explore on their own the statistical properties of all the distributions, estimators, and tests that are discussed in the book. Each chapter is concluded with an application to a case study that is used through out the text; in this way the student gains insight into the use of the tools being developed.

The exercises are divided into three groups to serve three distinct objectives, practice at calculation, exploring the tools in the sense of discovering the properties and limitations of  the statistics discussed in the text, and finally applications. While the computer is available to remove the tedium of  "adding numbers" care is taken to lead readers through early exercises "done by hand" as it were to be sure that they understand exactly what it is that the computer algorithms produce. Finally, the applications exercises stress the need for the reader to consider which tools are appropriate, what data might be needed and how relevant are the data at hand. Most importantly, the reader is encouraged to explore the interpretation of the statistical results and question the extent to which the statistical exercise did or did not address the practical question posed in the beginning.

The main software for the labs is based on the use of S-Plus. However, the way  in which we develop the material and the the use of the GUI interface means that no student needs to learn S-Plus itself in order to be able to do all the exercises and lab experiments. All the student need do is to follow the simple instructions contained in the exercises that are supplemented by some general instructions in an appendix. Very few students have any difficulty at all in using the software. This means that an instructor can assign exercises and problems from the very first day of class.

Two Solutions Manuals have been written. One is for the entire text, the other is a "students' edition." I have not put the Solutions Manual on the web site because instructors will wish to assign exercises from the text itself.

Would You Like to Use the Text for your Class?

If you wish to order the text, please return to the Duxbury website to order the book directly or to seek further information. If you came to this website directly, please visit The Duxbury Press website:

                   Duxbury Press                    

Select: "Online Book Companions"

If you wish to contact me directly, my email address is: