Bruce Spencer

Bruce David Spencer

Professor, Statistics
Professor, Human Development and Social Policy
Faculty Fellow , Institute for Policy Research

2006 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-4070
Phone: (847) 491-5810


Bruce Spencer studies the production and use of public statistics, particularly in policy-laden contexts. For example, should an organization (such as the federal government) spend more money (or less) on statistical programs such as the decennial census? Such a question requires an interdisciplinary attack, and he has focused on questions such as (i) how are the data used, (ii) what is the quality (including accuracy, relevance, timeliness, etc.) of the data, (iii) how would changes in the quality affect uses, and (iv) how can we assign measures of value to those effects. He works actively with government agencies on major statistical programs and conducts related research in sampling theory and methods and in demographic estimates. For many years he has worked with the Census Bureau on how to estimate population and how to evaluate the accuracy of their estimates. More recently he has worked on justice statistics, developing methods to estimate the accuracy of verdicts in criminal trials when the truth is unknown; he served on the recent National Academy of Sciences Panel to Review the Programs of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.



Year Degree Institution
1979 PhD Yale University

Research Interests

Statistics and public policy with a special focus on the design and evaluation of large-scale statistical data programs.

Last Updated: 2011-01-27 16:19:31