IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/hop/hopeec/v42y2010i1p75-110.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Problem of Passive Observation

Author

Listed:
  • Marcel Boumans

Abstract

Trygve Haavelmo's methodological manifesto “The Probability Approach in Econometrics” not only laid down the paradigm for the research pursued at the Cowles Commission, but also sets out a strategy for measurement outside the laboratory. His conceptualization of “passive observation” is still very useful for understanding measurements where intervention is not possible. Haavelmo's classic is very rich: it provided the framework for introducing probabilistic methods in econometrics and a profound discussion on invariance (autonomy). These subjects are well treated by various historians of econometrics. This does not, however, apply to the problem of passive observation. It is only mentioned, if it is mentioned at all, in relation to the discussion of autonomy, but that is it. This essay will give a reconstruction of his discussion of “factual” and “potential” influences, which provided Haavelmo the framework to discuss “Nature's experiments” and will allow us to discuss measurement outside the laboratory more generally.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Boumans, 2010. "The Problem of Passive Observation," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 75-110, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:42:y:2010:i:1:p:75-110
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hope.dukejournals.org/content/42/1/75.full.pdf+html
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bjerkholt, Olav, 2015. "Trygve Haavelmo At The Cowles Commission," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(01), pages 1-84, February.
    2. Pedro Garcia Duarte & Kevin D. Hoover, 2012. "Observing Shocks," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 44(5), pages 226-249, Supplemen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trygve Haavelmo; Cowles Commission;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:42:y:2010:i:1:p:75-110. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster). General contact details of provider: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.