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The Stata Journal
Volume 10 Number 3: pp. 482-495

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Speaking Stata: The limits of sample skewness and kurtosis

Nicholas J. Cox
Department of Geography
Durham University
Durham, UK
Abstract.  Sample skewness and kurtosis are limited by functions of sample size. The limits, or approximations to them, have repeatedly been rediscovered over the last several decades, but nevertheless seem to remain only poorly known. The limits impart bias to estimation and, in extreme cases, imply that no sample could bear exact witness to its parent distribution. The main results are explained in a tutorial review, and it is shown how Stata and Mata may be used to confirm and explore their consequences.
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View all articles with these keywords: descriptive statistics, distribution shape, moments, sample size, skewness, kurtosis, lognormal distribution

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