Akaike-type criteria and the reliability of inference: Model selection versus statistical model specification
Since the 1990s, the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and its various modifications/extensions, including BIC, have found wide applicability in econometrics as objective procedures that can be used to select parsimonious statistical models. The aim of this paper is to argue that these model selection procedures invariably give rise to unreliable inferences, primarily because their choice within a prespecified family of models (a) assumes away the problem of model validation, and (b) ignores the relevant error probabilities. This paper argues for a return to the original statistical model specification problem, as envisaged by Fisher (1922), where the task is understood as one of selecting a statistical model in such a way as to render the particular data a truly typical realization of the stochastic process specified by the model in question. The key to addressing this problem is to replace trading goodness-of-fit against parsimony with statistical adequacy as the sole criterion for when a fitted model accounts for the regularities in the data.
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- Spanos, Aris, 1995. "On theory testing in econometrics : Modeling with nonexperimental data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 189-226, May.
- Aris Spanos, 2001. "Revisiting data mining: 'hunting' with or without a license," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 231-264.
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- A. Meltzer & Peter Ordeshook & Thomas Romer, 1982. "Introduction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 1-3, January.
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- Aris Spanos, 2006. "Revisiting the omitted variables argument: Substantive vs. statistical adequacy," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 179-218.
- Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355, April.
- Leeb, Hannes & P tscher, Benedikt M., 2005. "Model Selection And Inference: Facts And Fiction," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(01), pages 21-59, February.
- Elena Andreou & Aris Spanos, 2003. "Statistical Adequacy and the Testing of Trend Versus Difference Stationarity," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 217-237, January.
- Spanos, Aris, 1990. "The simultaneous-equations model revisited : Statistical adequacy and identification," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 87-105.
- Aris Spanos & Anya McGuirk, 2001. "The Model Specification Problem from a Probabilistic Reduction Perspective," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1168-1176.
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