What is a ‘Sample’

A sample is a subset containing the characteristics of a larger population. Samples are used in statistical testing when population sizes are too large for the test to include all possible members or observations. A sample should represent the whole population and not reflect bias toward a specific attribute.

Explaining ‘Sample’

A sample is a smaller, manageable version of a larger group. For example, if you wanted to test an investment strategy on past stock data, you would have an enormous number of stocks to test. Instead of testing the strategy on every stock, you would use a sample, which allows you to draw statistical insights from a smaller group of stocks. The sample should not contain any bias, such as the survivorship bias, where you might only use stocks that have survived the entire length of time you wish to test. Choosing a sample randomly should eliminate the possibilities of bias.

Further Reading

  • An empirical comparison of published replication research in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing – [PDF]
  • Absolute Income, Relative Income and Subjective Well-being: Empirical Test Based on the Sample Data of Urban and Rural Households in China [J] – [PDF]
  • Small sample properties of GARCH estimates and persistence – [PDF]
  • Event studies in economics and finance – [PDF]
  • The Basel II reform and the provision of finance for R & D activities in SMEs: An analysis of a sample of Italian companies – [PDF]
  • Predicting corporate financial distress: reflections on choice-based sample bias – [PDF]
  • The Impact of Industry Trade on Employment in China: An Empirical Study Based on a Sample of 32-Industry Panel Data [J] – [PDF]
  • Econometrical analysis of the sample efficient frontier – [PDF]
  • Pitfalls in the application of discriminant analysis in business, finance, and economics – [PDF]
  • Chaos and nonlinear forecastability in economics and finance – [PDF]