Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Being Unbiased Isn't Everything!

When we first learn about estimation, we encounter various properties that estimators might possess. Unless your first course in statistics or econometrics takes a fully Bayesian stance, then these properties will be ones based on the sampling distribution of the statistic that is being used as the estimator.

There are plenty of unsettling things that can be raised against the notion of the sampling distribution, but let's put those to one side here. In elementary courses, attention usually focuses on just the mean and variance of an estimator's sampling distribution. I'm not endorsing this - it's just a fact of life.

UVic Economics Honours Class

With all of the great work that our Ph.D. and M.A. students are doing, it's easy to overlook an equally important group of students in our department. Each year we have a small group of undergraduate students taking our "Honours" program, and they deserve special mention at this time of year.

This week, with classes over, and final exams underway, the students in the Honours class are making presentations of the research that they've been undertaking over the past few months. Their research projects are always interesting and well executed. Past Honours students have gone on to some of the best doctoral programs in Canada, and have acquitted themselves extremely well.

Here are the presentations given yesterday and today: