Specious Accuracy

Since accuracy is a constant aim of most agencies making or using statistics,1 it is necessary to point out the frequent occurrence of what shall be called specious accuracy Of this we distinguish two fundamental kinds which, to make things worse, often go hand in hand. The first kind consists in giving accurate information to an extent that is entirely irrelevant for whatever immediate purpose may be considered or for any other conceivable purpose. This assertion is possible even though by far...

Business Accounting

Counting literature,2 the practices developed in this field are all directed, at least because of the pecuniary interest involved, toward minimizing errors of the more obvious type. At the same time, however, often rather meaningless statements may be produced, particularly when aggregates are formed, by the addition of financial data from different balance sheets. Second, both balance sheets and operating statements, i.e., profit and loss accounts, represent a mixture of figures that belong in...

Errors Of Economic Statistics

Struction of documents, etc., all going on during the time interval which must elapse while making the count. To make this point quite clear If the debt was 12,483,415,000 and could be written on a simple piece of paper serving as the credit instrument, then the debt would be known precisely even to two decimals, since it is possible to write down the above figure faultlessly. But if the same total has been issued gradually over the years in millions of separate certificates, having different...

National Income Statistics

The problem is to assign to goods and services produced a measure largely derived from money flows. But if money does not flow, this does not mean that income which is not being recorded is not being generated. This is an old problem. A classical illustration is that of persons living in houses they own themselves. If these same houses were owned by others, rent would have to be paid in money, goods, or services , thereby swelling the national product. To avoid this, a value has to be imputed...