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Zur Rolle der Ökonometrie in der wissenschaftlichen Politikberatung

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

Because economic theory alone does in many situations not provide unambiguous policy advice, most of the time empirical analyses are needed in addition. Thus, today econometric analyses are often parts of reports for political institutions or courts. However, it is not unusual that reports with contradicting evidence are presented by different groups or parties. Using the relation between government size and economic growth as an example, it is shown how such contradicting results are possible even if all scientists involved behave sincerely and adhere to the rules of scientific research. Our second example, studies investigating whether the death penalty serves as a deterrent to homicide, shows that the results of empirical analyses might to a large extent depend on a priori convictions of the scientists. Thus, the process of scientific policy advice has to be organised in a way so that – similar to the genuinely scientific discourse – open discussion and criticisms of methods and results are possible. In order to disclose possible conflicts of interests, this demand transparency of the whole process and, in particular for empirical analyses, that data and programmes are made available for re-estimations.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik.

Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (02)
Pages: 3-30

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Handle: RePEc:bla:perwir:v:14:y:2013:i:1-2:p:3-30
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