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Statistics, Politics and Policy (SPP)

Statistics, Politics and Policy (SPP) studies the ways in which statistical analysis drives public policy decisions, and publishes significant research on the application of statistical ideas to problems that relate to policy implementation.

Aims and scope

The increasing amount and complexity of available data is constantly creating new challenges for statistical thinking in policy problems. While many academic statisticians tend to share among themselves their latest methods and models, less attention has been paid to the usefulness of those statistical methods and models to inform public policy decisions, and what statistical approaches might be most effective in designing how policies are implemented. In the policy sphere, statistical methods are sometimes taken as a given, with less attention to all the variations, assumptions, and effects of different methods in differing contexts. But it is in the policy sphere that statistical debates can have the great value and impact, and the intersection of statistics and public policy is a fertile ground for statistical research and analysis to address important policy issues that may have widespread ramifications.

SPP welcomes all contribution dedicated to these topics intersecting politics, economics, policy and statistics.

(DE: Die zunehmende Menge und Komplexität der verfügbaren Daten schafft ständig neue Herausforderungen für das statistische Denken bei politischen Problemen. Während viele akademische Statistiker dazu neigen, ihre neuesten Methoden und Modelle untereinander auszutauschen, wurde der Nützlichkeit dieser statistischen Methoden und Modelle für politische Entscheidungen und der Frage, welche statistischen Ansätze bei der Gestaltung der Umsetzung politischer Maßnahmen am effektivsten sein könnten, weniger Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt. Im Bereich der Politik werden statistische Methoden manchmal als gegeben hingenommen, wobei den Variationen, Annahmen und Auswirkungen verschiedener Methoden in unterschiedlichen Kontexten weniger Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt wird. Der Schnittpunkt zwischen Statistik und Politik ist ein fruchtbarer Boden für statistische Forschung und Analyse, um wichtige politische Themen mit weitreichenden Auswirkungen zu behandeln.

SPP begrüßt alle Beiträge, die sich Themen widmen, bei denen sich Politik, Wirtschaft, Politik und Statistik überschneiden.)

News and Calls for Papers


Emil J. Gumbel Prize for outstanding contributions

We are happy to announce a new prize for the best paper published within each year starting in 2021. This prize is named after the German-American mathematician, publicist and political activist Emil Julius Gumbel (born 1891 in Munich, died 1966 in New York).
Emil Julius Gumbel was a lecturer at the University of Heidelberg in the 1920s and taught statistics there at the Department of Philosophy. Gumbel gained great fame with his book "Four Years of Political Murder", which was published in 1922. There he examined systematically, by means of statistical data, the sentences for political murders and crimes committed by right-wing and left-wing criminals. He found a strong political bias in the sentencing practice of the Weimar Republic. Due to his political and Jewish religious affiliation, Emil Julius Gumbel was later forced to emigrate to New York where he worked at Columbia University.
He is known today in statistics for his outstanding work on the Generalized Extreme Value distribution (Gumbel-Distribution). The prize will be awarded by the board of editors once a year for the best paper(s) published in SPP. The reward contains a monetary component of 500 US-Dollar.



Topic: Inequality
Submission deadline: 01.08.2021
Please see the detailed call for papers here



  • Uwe Wagschal, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Associate Editors

  • David W. Nickerson, Temple University
  • Georg Wenzelburger, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

Editorial Board

  • Hanna Bäck, Lund University
  • Keith Dowding, ANU Canberra
  • Carsten Jensen, Aarhus University
  • Gary King, Harvard University
  • Bernhard Kittel, Universität Wien
  • Maria Kolosnitsyna, HSE Moscow
  • Jonathan Slapin, University of Essex
  • Adian Vatter, Universität Bern
  • Barbara Vis, VU University Amsterdam

Assistant Managing Editor

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