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A critical regard to the history of econometrics

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  • Erich Pinzón Fuchs

    (UP1 UFR02 - Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne - UFR d'Économie - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne - PRES HESAM)

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    Abstract

    Econometrics has become such an obvious, objective - almost natural - tool that economists often forget that it has a history of its own, a complex and sometimes problematic history. Two works - Morgan (1990) and Qin (1993) - constitute the Received View of the history of econometrics. Basing our analysis on Leo Corry's methodological (and historiographical) framework of image and body of knowledge, the main purpose of this dissertation is to provide a critical account of the Received View. Our main criticism is that historians of econometrics have a particular image of knowledge that stems from within econometrics itself, generating a problem of reflexivity. This means that historians of econometrics would evaluate econometrics and its history from an econometrician point of view, determining very specific criteria of what should be considered as "true", what should be studied or what should be the questions that the scientific community should ask. This reflexive vision has conducted the Received View to write an internalist and funnel-shaped version of the History of Econometrics, presenting it as a lineal process progressing towards the best possible solution: Structural Econometrics and Haavelmo's Probability Approach in Econometrics (1944). The present work suggests that a new history of econometrics is needed. A new history that would overcome the reflexivity problem yielding a certainly messier and convoluted but also richer vision of econometrics' evolution, rather than the lineal path towards progress presented by the Received View.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number dumas-00906285.

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    Date of creation: 11 Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:dumas-00906285

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-00906285
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    Related research

    Keywords: history of econometrics; economic methodology and philosophy; history of recent economic thought; quantification in economics; image and body of knowledge; reflexivity;

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    1. D. Wade Hands, 2002. "Economic methodology is dead - long live economic methodology: thirteen theses on the new economic methodology," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 49-63.
    2. Marcel Boumans & Ariane Dupont-Kieffer, 2011. "A History of the Histories of Econometrics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 43(5), pages 5-31, Supplemen.
    3. Mirowski, Philip, 1989. "The Probabilistic Counter-Revolution, or How Stochastic Concepts Came to Neoclassical Economic Theory," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 217-35, January.
    4. D. Wade Hands, 1990. "Thirteen theses on progress in economic methodology," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 72-76, Spring.
    5. Neil Ericsson, 2004. "The ET interview: professor David F. Hendry," International Finance Discussion Papers 811, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Dharmapala, D, 1993. " On the History and Methodology of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 85-103.
    7. de Marchi, Neil & Gilbert, Christopher L, 1989. "History and Methodology of Econometrics: Introduction," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 1-11, January.
    8. Paul Davidson, 2010. "Black swans and Knight's epistemological uncertainty: are these concepts also underlying behavioral and post-Walrasian theory?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 32(4), pages 567-570, July.
    9. Hands,D. Wade, 2001. "Reflection without Rules," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521797962.
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