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BIOGRAPHY 19.1 Julius Shiskin (1912 -1978)

Julius Shiskin studied at Rutgers and Columbia, then entered a distinguished public-service career, beginning at the National Bureau of Economic Research. During World War II, he was head economist of the War Production Board's planning division; subsequently, he spent a quarter century at the U.S. Bureau of the Census, finally as chief economic statistician. He held the same title later at the Office of Management and Budget and ultimately became Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics where he directed a comprehensive revision of the consumer price index and initiated a similar revision of the producer price index. His most important work, perhaps, was the development of both the business-cycles-statistics program at the Census Bureau (that produced the key monthly periodical Business Conditions Digest) and the pioneering Census II electronic computer program for the seasonal adjustment of time series. This achievement involved the use of procedures discussed in text Chapter 19, as well as refinements thereof, including provisions for changing seasonal indexes in light of experience and using weighted moving averages to improve the measurement of cyclical time-series components.

Source: Adapted from Janet L. Norwood, "Julius Shiskin: 1912-78," The American Statistician (August 1979), p. 137.


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