The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Bayesian Statistics

  • José M. Bernardo
Reference work entry


Statistics is primarily concerned with analysing data, either to assist in appreciating some underlying mechanism or to reach effective decisions. All uncertainties should be described by probabilities, since probability is the only appropriate language for a logic that deals with all degrees of uncertainty, not just absolute truth and falsity. This is the essence of Bayesian statistics. Decision-making is embraced by introducing a utility function and then maximizing expected utility. Bayesian statistics is designed to handle all situations where uncertainty is found. Since some uncertainty is present in most aspects of life, Bayesian statistics arguably should be universally appreciated and used.


Asymptotic behaviour Bayes, T. Bayesian reference criterion Bayesian statistics Exchangeability Expected utility Hypothesis testing Improper prior function Inference Likelihood Nonparametric models Nuisance parameters Point estimation Prediction Probability Reference analysis Region estimation Representation theorems Robustness Statistical decision theory Statistical inference Subjective probability Sufficiency Sure thing principle Uncertainty 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • José M. Bernardo
    • 1
  1. 1.