National and International Statistics: Differences and Similarites
Hermann Habermann
National Academy of Science

Most national and international statistical offices should share a common ethos - a commitment to the collectiion and production of unbiased high quality statistical information. Despite this common ethos, there are significant differences in the functions of national and international statistical offices, and in the challenges faced by the respective staff members. With a few exceptions it is national statistical offices which are involved with direct data collection and international statistical offices are collectors and subsequent distributors of collections of information. International offices are responsible for providing leadership in developing international standards for the collection and comparison of data. Again, with few exceptions (e.g. Eurostat and the IMF), the work of international organizations does not immediately affect either monetary or fiscal policy in a country. National statistical offices are mostly responsible to one executive, while international offices must satisfy a pluralistic political environment. These differences imply different skill sets and training for both national and international statisticans.

Keywords: National statistics; International statistics

Biography: Previously Dr. Habermann has been Director of the United Nations Statistics Divison, Deputy Director of the US Census Bureau and currently is a Senior Associate of the National Academy of Sciences.