Statistics for (non-mathematical) trade analysts

I teach a ‘summer intensive’ graduate course in Trade Research Methods at the University of Adelaide. In five days we cover everything from the role of evidence in public policy to how to write a report that your boss will read (and even understand).

Most of my students have no formal training in statistics (or economics). At most they’ve been using statistical reports for years without thinking about them much. Maybe a bit of cynicism and caution: at least, I hope so.

But public policy — and especially trade — in the past few decades has become a data-driven study. You must be able to read statistical reports with a critical eye.

So in the one-day I spend on the tools of inferential statistics I try to give them a non-mathematical introduction to a few concepts that will help them to read academic papers on trade.

In preparation for this year’s summer course (mid-February), I’ve written a couple of (short) e-book chapters on Evidence in public policy and on Statistics. You can download the drafts here.

Please take a look. Let me know about the errors or confusions you find. I’d appreciate your help.

PS: Please ignore the cover image: it’s only a placeholder taken from my narrated “Don Juan” iBook

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