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Some comments on the role of econometrics in economic theory

  • Martin Eichenbaum

The basic tension facing econometricians is that structural models are necessary for addressing monetary policy questions. But all models are, by their very nature, false. Econometric programs that focus on testing whether models are true will be ignored by practicing macroeconomists. The critical task facing econometricians is to develop diagnostic tools for assessing the usefulness of models for addressing particular questions. This article reviews two diagnostic strategies.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (1996)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages: 22-31

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:1996:i:jan:p:22-31:n:v.20no.1
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  1. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Money, Prices, Interest Rates and the Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-53, February.
  3. Adrian R. Pagan & John C. Robertson, 1995. "Resolving the liquidity effect," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 33-54.
  4. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-74, December.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Francis X. Diebold & Lee E. Ohanian & Jeremy Berkowitz, 1998. "Dynamic equilibrium economies: a framework for comparing models and data," Staff Report 243, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Eichenbaum, Martin, 1991. "Real business-cycle theory : Wisdom or whimsy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 607-626, October.
  8. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1991. "Hours and Employment Variation in Business Cycle Theory," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 63-81, January.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
  11. Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. " The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(2), pages 129-48.
  12. Lee, Bong-Soo & Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1991. "Simulation estimation of time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 197-205, February.
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