Measurement error in racial and ethnic statistics

Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):375-385 (2009)
In the United States, the racial and ethnic statistics published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) assume that each member of the U.S. population has a race and ethnicity and that if a member is black or white with respect to his risk of one disease, he is the same race with respect to his risk of another. Such an assumption is mistaken. Race and ethnicity are taken by the NCHS to be an intrinsic property of members of a population, when they should be taken to depend on interest. The actual or underlying race or ethnicity of members of a population depends on the risk whose variation within the population we wish to describe or explain.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-008-9138-6
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