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Proxies in the New Political Economy: Caveat Emptor

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  • John R. Hanson
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    Abstract

    Some common professional criteria for evaluating econometric tests that use proxies for political, social, and institutional variables as regressors may lull scholars into a false sense of security about specious results. The highly publicized correlations between income and economic freedom based on the economic freedom indexes supplied by the Fraser Institute, Heritage Foundation, and Freedom House are used as illustrations. Because these correlations bear strong resemblances to one another, most economists would consider them mutually supportive. Yet this is not so, implying that mutual resemblance and consistency are not criteria for judging econometric results. (JEL B49, C19) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 639-646

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:639-646

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    Cited by:
    1. Jakob De Haan & Susanna Lundström & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Market-oriented institutions and policies and economic growth: A critical survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 157-191, 04.
    2. Zane Spindler & Xavier Vanssay & Vincent Hildebrand, 2008. "Using Economic Freedom Indexes as Policy Indicators: An Intercontinental Example," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 195-214, September.
    3. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell M. Rhine, 2011. "Economic freedom and employment growth in U.S. states," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 1-18.
    4. Kilby, Christopher, 2005. "World Bank lending and regulation," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 384-407, December.
    5. Kilby, Christopher, 2004. "Aid and Regulation," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 65, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    6. Nir Kshetri & Ralf Bebenroth, 2011. "Sources of Global Heterogeneity in Retail Spending," Discussion Paper Series DP2011-03, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    7. Doucouliagos, Chris & Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali, 2006. "Economic freedom and economic growth: Does specification make a difference?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 60-81, March.
    8. Heckelman, Jac & Knack, Stephen, 2005. "Foreign aid and market-liberalizing reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3557, The World Bank.
    9. Vishal Jaunky, 2013. "Democracy and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: a panel data approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 987-1008, October.

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