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Should Economists Use Open Source Software for Doing Research?

  • A. Talha Yalta

    (TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics)

  • A. Yasemin Yalta

    (Hacettepe University, Department of Economics)

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.

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File URL: http://www.iktisat.hacettepe.edu.tr/WP/WP-2012-7.pdf
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Paper provided by Hacettepe University, Department of Economics in its series Hacettepe University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 20127.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hac:hacwop:20127
Contact details of provider: Postal: Hacettepe University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Economics, Ankara, Turkey
Phone: 0090 312 297 8652
Fax: (312) 299 2003
Web page: http://www.iktisat.hacettepe.edu.tr
Email:


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  3. Yalta, A. Talha & Jenal, Olaf, 2009. "On the importance of verifying forecasting results," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 62-73.
  4. 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.
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  7. A. Talha Yalta, 2010. "The Numerical Reliability of GAUSS 8.0," Working Papers 1004, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
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