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Rethinking economics: Logical gaps – empirical to the real world

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  • Stuart Birks

    () (University of the West of England, Bristol and Massey University, New Zealand)

Abstract

One aspect of simplification that is apparent at the level of public debate is the way that policy conclusions are frequently drawn from limited statistical evidence. While economists and econometricians are generally cautious about specifying policy implications arising from econometric analyses, at the level of broader debate and media coverage there are fewer reservations. This paper explores some of the limitations and potential opportunities for policy-relevant findings from econometrics. In particular, it considers what can and cannot be deduced as a result of an explanatory variable being found to be statistically significant. In addition, it indicates what aspects to address or questions to raise if econometricians and economists are to extend this work to the point where it may be directly applicable in policy debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Stuart Birks, 2012. "Rethinking economics: Logical gaps – empirical to the real world," Working Papers 20121217, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:20121217
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    File URL: http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/faculties/BBS/BUS/Research/economics2012/1217.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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