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Causality in macroeconometrics: some considerations about reductionism and realism

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  • Alessio Moneta

Abstract

This paper investigates the varieties of reductionism and realism about causal relations in macroeconometrics. There are two issues, which are kept distinct in the analysis but which are interrelated in the development of econometrics. The first one is the question of the reducibility of causal relations to regularities, measured in statistics by correlations. The second one is the question of the reducibility of causes among macroeconomic aggregates to microeconomic behaviour. It is argued that there is a continuum of possible positions between realism and reductionism for both the questions, but, as far as the second question is concerned, the dominant position of mainstream macroeconometrics is strongly reductionist. The paper defends an integrative approach that emphasizes the gradual nature of many real world cases.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 433-453

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:433-453

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Related research

Keywords: causality; realism; reductionism; econometric models; identification problem;

References

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  1. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  2. Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "What are the Effects of Monetary Policy on Output? Results from an Agnostic Identification Procedure," CEPR Discussion Papers 2137, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Leamer, Edward E., 1985. "Vector autoregressions for causal inference?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 255-304, January.
  4. Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Are forecasting models usable for policy analysis?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-16.
  5. Bernanke, Ben S., 1986. "Alternative explanations of the money-income correlation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-99, January.
  6. Granger, C. W. J., 1980. "Testing for causality : A personal viewpoint," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 329-352, May.
  7. Selva Demiralp & Kevin D. Hoover, 2003. "Searching for the Causal Structure of a Vector Autoregression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(s1), pages 745-767, December.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  9. Hoover,Kevin D., 2001. "Causality in Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521452175.
  10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1991. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 819-40, September.
  11. Lawson, Tony, 1989. "Realism and Instrumentalism in the Development of Econometrics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 236-58, January.
  12. Titus O. Awokuse & David A. Bessler, 2003. "Vector Autoregressions, Policy Analysis, and Directed Acyclic Graphs: An Application to the U.S. Economy," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 1-24, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Erdal Atukeren, 2008. "Christmas cards, Easter bunnies, and Granger-causality," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 42(6), pages 835-844, December.
  2. Martin Binder & Felix Ward, 2011. "The Structure of Happiness: A Vector Autoregressive Approach," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  3. Alex Coad & Rekha Rao, 2010. "Firm growth and R&D expenditure," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 127-145.
  4. Paul Windrum & Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta, 2007. "Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models: Alternatives and Prospects," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 10(2), pages 8.
  5. Piero Ferri & Anna Maria Variato, 2007. "Macro Dynamics in a Model with Uncertainty," Working Papers 0704, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  6. Giorgio Fagiolo & Paul Windrum & Alessio Moneta, 2006. "Empirical Validation of Agent Based Models: A Critical Survey," LEM Papers Series 2006/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00175048 is not listed on IDEAS

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