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Kurtosis: A Critical Review

Kevin P. Balanda and H. L. MacGillivray
The American Statistician
Vol. 42, No. 2 (May, 1988), pp. 111-119
DOI: 10.2307/2684482
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2684482
Page Count: 9
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Kurtosis: A Critical Review
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Abstract

We critically review the development of the concept of kurtosis. We conclude that it is best to define kurtosis vaguely as the location- and scale-free movement of probability mass from the shoulders of a distribution into its center and tails and to recognize that it can be formalized in many ways. These formalizations are best expressed in terms of location- and scale-free partial orderings on distributions and the measures that preserve them. The role of scale-matching techniques and placement of shoulders in the formalizations that have appeared in the literature are emphasized.

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