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Causality in macroeconometrics: some considerations about reductionism and realism

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  • Alessio Moneta

Abstract

This paper investigates the varieties of reductionism and realism about causal relations in macroeconometrics. There are two issues, which are kept distinct in the analysis but which are interrelated in the development of econometrics. The first one is the question of the reducibility of causal relations to regularities, measured in statistics by correlations. The second one is the question of the reducibility of causes among macroeconomic aggregates to microeconomic behaviour. It is argued that there is a continuum of possible positions between realism and reductionism for both the questions, but, as far as the second question is concerned, the dominant position of mainstream macroeconometrics is strongly reductionist. The paper defends an integrative approach that emphasizes the gradual nature of many real world cases.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessio Moneta, 2005. "Causality in macroeconometrics: some considerations about reductionism and realism," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 433-453.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:433-453
    DOI: 10.1080/13501780500223742
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Leamer, Edward E., 1985. "Vector autoregressions for causal inference?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 255-304, January.
    9. Selva Demiralp & Kevin D. Hoover, 2003. "Searching for the Causal Structure of a Vector Autoregression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(s1), pages 745-767, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giorgio Fagiolo & Paul Windrum & Alessio Moneta, 2006. "Empirical Validation of Agent Based Models: A Critical Survey," LEM Papers Series 2006/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Alex Coad & Rekha Rao, 2010. "Firm growth and R&D expenditure," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 127-145.
    3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00175048 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Paul Windrum & Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta, 2007. "Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models: Alternatives and Prospects," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 10(2), pages 1-8.
    5. Erdal Atukeren, 2008. "Christmas cards, Easter bunnies, and Granger-causality," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 42(6), pages 835-844, December.
    6. Piero Ferri & Anna Maria Variato, 2007. "Macro Dynamics in a Model with Uncertainty," Working Papers (-2012) 0704, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    7. Martin Binder & Felix Ward, 2011. "The Structure of Happiness: A Vector Autoregressive Approach," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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