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Economists, Incentives, Judgment, and Empirical Work

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  • Colander, David C.

Abstract

This paper asks the question: Why has the ?general-to-specific? cointegrated VAR approach as developed in Europe had only limited success in the US as a tool for doing empirical macroeconomics, where what might be called a ?theory comes first? approach dominates? The reason this paper highlights is the incompatibility of the European approach with the US focus on the journal publication metric for advancement. Specifically, the European ?general-to specific? cointegrated VAR approach requires researcher judgment to be part of the analysis, and the US focus on a journal publication metric discourages such research methods. The US ?theory comes first? approach fits much better with the journal publication metric.

Suggested Citation

  • Colander, David C., 2008. "Economists, Incentives, Judgment, and Empirical Work," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-12, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:7213
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Deirdre N. McCloskey & Stephen T. Ziliak, 1996. "The Standard Error of Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, March.
    2. Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-866, August.
    3. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
    4. Colander, David, 2003. "The Aging of an Economist," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 157-176, June.
    5. Colander,David C. & Coats,Alfred William (ed.), 1989. "The Spread of Economic Ideas," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521362337, Fall.
    6. Ireland, Peter N., 2004. "A method for taking models to the data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1205-1226, March.
    7. Terry Plum & David Colander, 2004. "Efficiency, Journal Publishing and Scholarly Research - A Discussion Paper," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0414, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    8. Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, 1993. "American and European Economics and Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 185-193, Fall.
    9. Cooley, Thomas F & LeRoy, Stephen F, 1981. "Identification and Estimation of Money Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 825-844, December.
    10. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
    11. Colander, David, 1989. "Research on the Economics Profession," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 137-148, Fall.
    12. Kirman, Alan & Dahl, Mogens, 1994. "Economic research in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 505-522, April.
    13. Arthur M. Diamond Jr., 1986. "What is a Citation Worth?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 200-215.
    14. Julia Campos & Neil R. Ericsson & David F. Hendry, 2005. "General-to-specific modeling: an overview and selected bibliography," International Finance Discussion Papers 838, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Holt & J. Barkley Rosser & David Colander, 2011. "The Complexity Era in Economics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 357-369.
    2. Ordóñez, Javier & Jusélius, Katarina, 2009. "Balassa-Samuelson and Wage, Price and Unemployment Dynamics in the Spanish Transition to EMU Membership," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 3, pages 1-30.
    3. Spanos, Aris, 2008. "The 'Pre-Eminence of Theory' versus the 'General-to-Specific' Cointegrated VAR Perspectives in Macro-Econometric Modeling," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-25, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentives; empirical work; econometrics; methodology; cointegration; VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

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