Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Econometrics is in deep Trouble"

This line pretty much summaries McCloskey and Ziliak's position on the current usage of signifinant tests in econometrics:

"If McCloskey and Ziliak are right—that merely “statistical,” Fisherian significance is scientifically meaningless in almost all the cases in which it is presently used, and that economists don’t recognize this truth of logic, or act on it—then econometrics is in deep trouble."

The paper is part of a (an on-going?) debate between McCloskey/Ziliak and Kevin Hoover/Siegler.

I like this bit of the paper best (on the response of the academic elites to the McCloskey/Ziliak thesis) :

One eminent econometrican told us with a smirk that he agreed with us, of course, and never used mechanical t-testing in his own work (on this he spoke the truth). But he remained unwilling to teach the McCloskey-Ziliak point to his students in a leading graduate program because “they are too stupid to understand it.”

Another and more amiable but also eminent applied econometrican at a leading graduate program, who long edited a major journal, told us that he “tended to agree” with the point. “But,” he continued, “young people need careers,” and so the misapplication of Fisher should go on and on and on.

1 comment:

Rana Rizwan Javed said...

Some checking shows that what was once the "other" economics department at ND, the Department of Economics and Finance, is now simply the Department of Finance. Looking over its faculty shows quite a few who are still mostly, actually economists, but it is clear that the administration made a decision to move that department to being just finance, with some of its former faculty moving into the new Department of Economics and Econometrics.