Can economic statistics lie? And what about poll surveys?

Here’s a view from Prof. Habito.

I believe statistics are just numbers with properties that give headaches to students of applied math.  Numbers have no personality or will to concoct a falsehood.

For example, I’ve wondered how statisticians can confidently say that their sample surveys have a 3% error rate?  How did they get so confident?  A prize awaits any of my current and former students who can enlighten me on this one.

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