Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student learns intermediate and advanced topics in finite population inference. The student is able to plan a new survey design and to analyze and summarize the obtained information by a survey with advanced theoretical tools.

Course contents

The topics of the course are illustrated with emphasis to their impact in official statistics.

The source of randomness in sampling from finite populations: design based and model based inference. The predictive approach.

Design based inference for structured populations. Sampling of complex units.

Cluster sampling for clusters of equal and different size. Cluster sampling with varying probability, ratio estimation in cluster sampling. Systematic sampling as a special case of cluster sampling.

Two stage sampling with varying probability, simple random sampling in two stage sampling and primary units with constant size.

Small area inference: design based estimators and Best Linear Unbiased Predictors.

The basic superpopulation models: estimators and their variances.

Area level and unit level models for small area inference.

Approximated bias and variance in design based ratio and regression estimation.

Model assisted design based inference. Generalized regression estimators (GREG) for design-based model-assisted inference. Calibration and balancing.

Multiphase sampling. Consequences of estimating population synthetic quantities in a first sampling phase.

Sampling in space.

Estimation in the presence of non sampling errors.


S.L. Lohr (2010). Sampling: Design and Analysis, Second Edition, Brooks / Cole, Boston.

At the beginning of the course a list of scientific papers is available to students. Each student will choose one of the papers to illustrate at the moment of the exam.

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Each student will present the content of the scientific paper chosen during the course. The presentation constitutes 40% of the final mark. Oral questions constitute the other 60% of the mark.

Teaching tools

A file with the most important formulae can be downloaded

Office hours

See the website of Daniela Cocchi