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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
Date of revision:
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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  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Shimotsu, Katsumi & Phillips, Peter C B, 2002. "Exact Local Whittle Estimation of Fractional Integration," Economics Discussion Papers 8838, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. Peter C.B. Phillips & Zhijie Xiao, 1998. "A Primer on Unit Root Testing," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Michael P. Clements & David F.Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting with difference-stationary and trend-stationary models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages S1-S19.
  11. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  12. Oliver LINTON, . "Applied nonparametric methods," Statistic und Oekonometrie 9312, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin.
  13. 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.
  14. Phillips, Peter C. B., 1995. "Bayesian model selection and prediction with empirical applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 289-331, September.
  15. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1998. "New Unit Root Asymptotics in the Presence of Deterministic Trends," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1196, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Phillips, Peter C.B. & Moon, Hyungsik R., 1999. "How to Estimate Autoregressive Roots Near Unity," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt87p2z8zx, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  17. Dean Corbae & Sam Ouliaris & Peter C.B. Phillips, 1997. "Band Spectral Regression with Trending Data," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  18. 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.
  19. Phillips, P.C.B., 1989. "Partially Identified Econometric Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 181-240, August.
  20. Forchini, Giovanni & Hillier, Grant, 2003. "Conditional Inference For Possibly Unidentified Structural Equations," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(05), pages 707-743, October.
  21. 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.
  22. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 740R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1986.
  23. Phillips, Peter & Sul, Donggyu, 2002. "Dynamic Panel Estimation and Homogenity Testing Under Cross Section Dependence," Working Papers 194, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
  24. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2004. "A PANIC Attack on Unit Roots and Cointegration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1127-1177, 07.
  25. 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.
  26. Park, Joon Y. & Phillips, Peter C.B., 1988. "Statistical Inference in Regressions with Integrated Processes: Part 1," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 468-497, December.
  27. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  28. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Peter C. B. Phillips, 1998. "New Tools for Understanding Spurious Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1299-1326, November.
  32. 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.
  33. P. Dorian Owen, 2003. "General-to-Specific Modelling Using PcGets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 609-628, 09.
  34. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  35. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  36. 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.
  37. Sargan, J D, 1983. "Identification and Lack of Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1605-33, November.
  38. Hoover,Kevin D., 2001. "The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521802727, November.
  39. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Understanding Spurious Regressions in Econometrics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  40. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
  41. 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.
  42. Park, Joon Y. & Phillips, Peter C.B., 1999. "Asymptotics For Nonlinear Transformations Of Integrated Time Series," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 269-298, June.
  43. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:3-4:p:764-73 is not listed on IDEAS
  44. Phillips, Peter C B, 1996. "Econometric Model Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 763-812, July.
  45. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1998. "Econometric Analysis of Fisher's Equation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1180, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  47. 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.
  48. Baillie, Richard T., 1996. "Long memory processes and fractional integration in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 5-59, July.
  49. Lahiri, Kajal, 1999. "Et Interview: Professor G.S. Maddala," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(05), pages 753-776, October.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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