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Laws and Limits of Econometrics

We start by discussing some general weaknesses and limitations of the econometric approach. A template from sociology is used to formulate six laws that characterize mainstream activities of econometrics and the scientific limits of those activities, we discuss some proximity theorems that quantify by means of explicit bounds how close we can get to the generating mechanism of the data and the optimal forecasts of next period observations using a finite number of observations. The magnitude of the bound depends on the characteristics of the model and the trajectory of the observed data. The results show that trends are more elusive to model than stationary processes in the sense that the proximity bounds are larger. By contrast, the bounds are of smaller order for models that are unidentified or nearly unidentified, so that lack or near lack of identification may not be as fatal to the use of a model in practice as some recent results on inference suggest, we look at one possible future of econometrics that involves the use of advanced econometric methods interactively by way of a web browser. With these methods users may access a suite of econometric methods and data sets online. They may also upload data to remote servers and by simple web browser selections initiate the implementation of advanced econometric software algorithms, returning the results online and by file and graphics downloads.

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File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d13/d1397.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1397.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Publication status: Published in The Economic Journal (2003), 13(4&6): C26-C52
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1397
Note: CFP 1081.
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Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Shimotsu, Katsumi & Phillips, Peter C B, 2002. "Exact Local Whittle Estimation of Fractional Integration," Economics Discussion Papers 8838, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Peter C.B. Phillips & Werner Ploberger, 1999. "Empirical Limits for Time Series Econometric Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1220, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Peter C.B. Phillips & Joon Y. Park, 1998. "Asymptotics for Nonlinear Transformations of Integrated Time Series," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1182, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Steven N. Durlauf & Peter C.B. Phillips, 1986. "Trends Versus Random Walks in Time Series Analysis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 788, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Hoover,Kevin D., 2001. "The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521802727, December.
  7. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
  9. Dufour, J.M., 1995. "Some Impossibility Theorems in Econometrics with Applications to Instrumental Variables, Dynamic Models and Cointegration," Cahiers de recherche 9539, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Chao, John C. & Phillips, Peter C. B., 1999. "Model selection in partially nonstationary vector autoregressive processes with reduced rank structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 227-271, August.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Baillie, Richard T., 1996. "Long memory processes and fractional integration in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 5-59, July.
  13. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
  14. Michael P. Clements & David F.Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting with difference-stationary and trend-stationary models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19.
  15. Peter C.B. Phillips & Hyungsik R. Moon & Zhijie Xiao, 1998. "How to Estimate Autoregressive Roots Near Unity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1191, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Jeganathan, P., 1999. "On Asymptotic Inference In Cointegrated Time Series With Fractionally Integrated Errors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(04), pages 583-621, August.
  17. Forchini, Giovanni & Hillier, Grant, 2003. "Conditional Inference For Possibly Unidentified Structural Equations," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(05), pages 707-743, October.
  18. Dean Corbae & Sam Ouliaris & Peter C. B. Phillips, 2002. "Band Spectral Regression with Trending Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1067-1109, May.
  19. Wolfgang Hardle & Oliver Linton, 1994. "Applied Nonparametric Methods," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1069, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  20. Phillips, Peter C. B., 2002. "New unit root asymptotics in the presence of deterministic trends," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 323-353, December.
  21. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:3-4:p:764-73 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Xiao, Zhijie & Phillips, Peter C. B., 2002. "Higher order approximations for Wald statistics in time series regressions with integrated processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 157-198, May.
  23. Peter C.B. Phillips & Joon Y. Park, 1986. "Statistical Inference in Regressions with Integrated Processes: Part 2," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 819R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1987.
  24. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
  25. Xiao, Zhijie & Phillips, Peter C. B., 1998. "Higher-order approximations for frequency domain time series regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 297-336, June.
  26. Lahiri, Kajal, 1999. "Et Interview: Professor G.S. Maddala," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(05), pages 753-776, October.
  27. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Peter C.B. Phillips & Joon Y. Park, 1986. "Statistical Inference in Regressions with Integrated Processes: Part 1," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 811R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 1987.
  29. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Peter C.B.Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2002. "Dynamic Panel Estimation and Homogeneity Testing Under Cross Section Dependence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1362, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  31. Kim, Jae-Young, 1994. "Bayesian Asymptotic Theory in a Time Series Model with a Possible Nonstationary Process," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3-4), pages 764-773, August.
  32. Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Understanding spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 311-340, December.
  33. Michael P. Clements & David F. Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting Non-Stationary Economic Time Series," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262531895, September.
  34. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
  35. Phillips, Peter C B, 1996. "Econometric Model Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 763-812, July.
  36. Phillips, Peter C B & Xiao, Zhijie, 1998. " A Primer on Unit Root Testing," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 423-469, December.
  37. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1998. "Econometric Analysis of Fisher's Equation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1180, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  38. Phillips, P.C.B., 1989. "Partially Identified Econometric Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 181-240, August.
  39. Joon Y. Park & Peter C.B. Phillips, 1998. "Nonlinear Regressions with Integrated Time Series," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1190, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  40. Phillips, Peter C. B., 1995. "Bayesian model selection and prediction with empirical applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 289-331, September.
  41. repec:esx:essedp:535 is not listed on IDEAS
  42. Peter C. B. Phillips, 1998. "New Tools for Understanding Spurious Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1299-1326, November.
  43. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2001. "A PANIC Attack on Unit Roots and Cointegration," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 519, Boston College Department of Economics.
  44. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1995. "Automated Forecasts of Asia-Pacific Economic Activity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1103, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  45. Sargan, J D, 1983. "Identification and Lack of Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1605-1633, November.
  46. P. Dorian Owen, 2003. "General-to-Specific Modelling Using PcGets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 609-628, 09.
  47. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1992. "Bayes Methods for Trending Multiple Time Series with an Empirical Application to the US Economy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1025, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  48. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  49. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  50. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 1999. "Improving on 'Data mining reconsidered' by K.D. Hoover and S.J. Perez," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 202-219.
  51. Phillips, Peter C B & Ploberger, Werner, 1996. "An Asymptotic Theory of Bayesian Inference for Time Series," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 381-412, March.
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