The Problem of Passive Observation
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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Duke University Press 905 W. Main Street, Suite 18B Durham, NC 27701|
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614