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Some Economics of Public Statistics

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  • Berkeley Hill

Abstract

Public statistics are an important part of the information needed for efficient and effective agricultural and rural policy. Experience of several decades of work at the interface of statistics and policy, in particular on income measurement in agriculture, suggests that there are systematic failures in the process by which statistics are fed into policy decisions, although their nature and extent can be expected to vary across types of policy. These failures include poor recognition of the need for information and conceptual obsolescence in methodologies. The explanations for these failures are likely to include the unwillingness of policy-makers to articulate their objectives clearly, various interests in not having better statistics, the limited independence of agricultural statisticians from departments responsible for policy, and the low level of engagement by academics. Ways of improving the situation are explored. Copyright (c) The Agricultural Economics Society. 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Berkeley Hill, 2008. "Some Economics of Public Statistics," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 387-420, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:59:y:2008:i:3:p:387-420
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