IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Should Economists Use Open Source Software for Doing Research?

We survey the literature on the accuracy of econometric software. We also assess the advantages of open source software from the point of view of reliability and discuss its potential in applied economics, which has now become fully dependent on computers. As a case study, we apply various accuracy tests on gretl (GNU Regression, Econometrics and Time-series Library) and demonstrate that the open source nature of the program made it possible to see the cause, facilitated a rapid fix, and enabled verifying the correction of a number of flaws that we uncovered. We also run the same tests on four widely-used proprietary econometric packages and observe the known accuracy errors that remained uncorrected for more than five years.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10614-010-9204-4
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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.

Article provided by Society for Computational Economics in its journal Computational Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 371-394

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:35:y:2010:i:4:p:371-394
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100248

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. West, Joel, 2003. "How open is open enough?: Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1259-1285, July.
  2. Yalta, A. Talha & Jenal, Olaf, 2009. "On the importance of verifying forecasting results," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 62-73.
  3. Johnson, Justin P., 2006. "Collaboration, peer review and open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 477-497, November.
  4. Jeffrey A. Roberts & Il-Horn Hann & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2006. "Understanding the Motivations, Participation, and Performance of Open Source Software Developers: A Longitudinal Study of the Apache Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 984-999, July.
  5. McCullough, B. D. & Wilson, Berry, 1999. "On the accuracy of statistical procedures in Microsoft Excel 97," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 27-37, July.
  6. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2002. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," NBER Working Papers 9363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. McCullough, B.D., 2008. "Microsoft Excel's 'Not The Wichmann-Hill' random number generators," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4587-4593, June.
  8. Newbold, Paul & Agiakloglou, Christos & Miller, John, 1994. "Adventures with ARIMA software," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 573-581, December.
  9. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
  10. H. D. Vinod & B. D. McCullough, 1999. "Corrigenda: The Numerical Reliability of Econometric Software," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1565-1565, December.
  11. Christian Kleiber & Achim Zeileis, 2005. "Validating multiple structural change models-a case study," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 685-690.
  12. Ryan J. Smith & J. Wilson Mixon Jr, 2006. "Teaching undergraduate econometrics with GRETL," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 1103-1107.
  13. B. D. McCullough & H. D. Vinod, 2003. "Econometrics and Software: Comments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 223-224, Winter.
  14. A. Talha Yalta & Riccardo Lucchetti, 2008. "The GNU|Linux platform and freedom respecting software for economists," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 279-286.
  15. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
  16. Brooks, Chris & Burke, Simon P. & Persand, Gita, 2001. "Benchmarks and the accuracy of GARCH model estimation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 45-56.
  17. H. D. Vinod, 2000. "Review of GAUSS for Windows, including its numerical accuracy," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 211-220.
  18. Riccardo Lucchetti, 2009. "Who uses gretl? An Analysis of the SourceForge Download Data," EHUCHAPS, Universidad del País Vasco - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
  19. Keeling, Kellie B. & Pavur, Robert J., 2007. "A comparative study of the reliability of nine statistical software packages," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 3811-3831, May.
  20. Giovanni Baiocchi & Walter Distaso, 2003. "GRETL: Econometric software for the GNU generation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 105-110.
  21. Gita Persand & Chris Brooks & Simon P. Burke, 2003. "Multivariate GARCH models: software choice and estimation issues," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(6), pages 725-734.
  22. A. Talha Yalta, 2010. "The Numerical Reliability of GAUSS 8.0," Working Papers 1004, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics.
  23. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Silvia Giannangeli & Cristina Rossi, 2006. "Entry Strategies Under Competing Standards: Hybrid Business Models in the Open Source Software Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1085-1098, July.
  24. Sawitzki, Gunther, 1994. "Testing numerical reliability of data analysis systems," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 269-286, September.
  25. McCullough, B D, 1999. "Econometric Software Reliability: EViews, LIMDEP, SHAZAM and TSP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 191-202, March-Apr.
  26. A. Talha Yalta & A. Yasemin Yalta, 2010. "Gretl 1.6.0 and Its Numerical Accuracy," Working Papers 1003, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics.
  27. McCullough, B. D., 2000. "Is it safe to assume that software is accurate?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 349-357.
  28. B. D. McCullough, 1999. "Wilkinson's Tests and Econometric Software," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1312, Society for Computational Economics.
  29. Vinod, H. D., 2001. "Care and feeding of reproducible econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 87-88, January.
  30. Nerlove, Marc, 2003. "Programming Languages: A Short History For Economists," Working Papers 28555, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  31. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
  32. Sawitzki, Gunther, 1994. "Report on the Numerical Reliability of Data Analysis Systems," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 289-301, September.
  33. Silk, Julian, 1996. "Systems Estimation: A Comparison of SAS, SHAZAM and TSP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 437-50, July-Aug..
  34. A. Talha Yalta, 2010. "The Accuracy of Statistical Distributions in Microsoft (R) Excel 2007," Working Papers 1006, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics.
  35. Choi, Hwan-sik & Kiefer, Nicholas M., 2005. "Software evaluation: EasyReg International," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 609-616.
  36. Knusel, Leo, 1995. "On the accuracy of the statistical distributions in GAUSS," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 699-702, December.
  37. B. D. McCullough & H. D. Vinod, 2003. "Verifying the Solution from a Nonlinear Solver: A Case Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 873-892, June.
  38. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 99-120, Spring.
  39. Ricardo De Bonis & Giuseppe Bruno, 2000. "A Comparative Study Of Alternative Econometric Packages: An Application To Italian Deposit Interest Rates," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 160, Society for Computational Economics.
  40. Josh Lerner & Parag A. Pathak & Jean Tirole, 2006. "The Dynamics of Open-Source Contributors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 114-118, May.
  41. Richard Anderson & William Greene & B. D. McCullough & H. D. Vinod, 2008. "The role of data/code archives in the future of economic research," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 99-119.
  42. H. D. Vinod & B. D. McCullough, 1999. "The Numerical Reliability of Econometric Software," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 633-665, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:35:y:2010:i:4:p:371-394. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.