Background Note | HBS Case Collection | November 1990 (Revised August 1996)

Sampling and Statistical Inference

by Arthur Schleifer Jr.


An introduction to sampling and statistical inference that covers the main concepts (confidence intervals, tests of statistical significance, choice of sample size) that are needed in making inferences about a population mean or percent. Includes discussion of problems of sampling in the real world where response bias and nonrepresentativeness violate the principles on which statistical inference is based.

Keywords: Mathematical Methods; Forecasting and Prediction; Demographics;


Schleifer, Arthur, Jr. "Sampling and Statistical Inference." Harvard Business School Background Note 191-092, November 1990. (Revised August 1996.)