[OPE-L:6198] Re: Re: Fw: econometrics

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Sun Nov 18 2001 - 23:37:11 EST

On Sun, 18 Nov 2001, michael perelman wrote:

> I tried to show one of the problems with Marxian econometrics.
> www.ucm.es/wwwboard/bas/messages/246.htm

Eh?  This is Spanish-language get-rich-quick Internet spam.  What is
the relevance?

Like Patrick, I think econometrics is not really optional.  In the
broad sense (that used by the founders of the Econometric Society in
the 1930s) econometrics is simply quantitative economic analysis.  In
the somewhat narrower sense that the term 'econometrics' has acquired
since WWII, it is quantitative analysis based on probability theory,
or more specifically the theory of statistical inference as elaborated
by Bayes, Neyman and Pearson, and R.A. Fisher (there are differences
between these three approaches but modern econometrics comprises them
all).  I don't say that these theories are beyond question, but in the
last half-century nobody has proposed any alternative paradigm for
testing/quantifying theory against non-experimental data.  They are,
collectively, the only game in town.

I don't see any inherent connection between neoclassical economic
theory and econometrics.  They just "happen to go together" in that
neoclassical theory has been dominant in the period since econometrics
came to maturity; it has therefore provided most of the hypotheses
that econometricians have wanted to test.

Jerry mentioned some "other approaches" to quantitative analysis,
including input-output analysis and "chaos theory".  These are of
interest but they are not in competition with econometrics; they are
both theoretical frameworks rather than methodologies for empirical
analysis as such.

Allin Cottrell.

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