American Econometric Economic Essay Growth History In Railroad

American Econometric Economic Essay Growth History In Railroad-66
For example, one interesting question is whether economic growth since 1800 has been much faster than economic growth for the preceding 1500 years.

For example, one interesting question is whether economic growth since 1800 has been much faster than economic growth for the preceding 1500 years.

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Those who think otherwise should be required to wear a scarlet-letter O around their necks, for “overconfidence.” …Let’s face it.

The evolving, innovating, self-organizing, self-healing human system we call the economy is not well described by a fictional “data-generating process.” The point of the sensitivity analyses that I have been advocating begins with the admission that the historical data are compatible with countless alternative data-generating models. Is it because we just don’t have the right models yet, or because the world is inherently too complex to make sense of, or because there are too many factors at work at any given time, or because history never repeats itself (or some or all of the above)?

Sophisticated empirical work consists of taking a single data set and using the best econometric techniques to arrive at estimates of the interesting parameters.

In contrast, when I have an empirical question, I look at a variety of data sources.

I don’t know if it’s still true, but his professional reputation used to be very imposing. If you’re one of those people who regards Sims as super-human, then you probably will not be on my side in the controversy. We need words in our methodological vocabulary to express the limits.

We need sensitivity analyses to make those limits transparent.

Chris Sims represents the opposite school of thought.

He believes in the triumph of state-of-the-art technique over weak data. He may be gifted and clever, but I have never found him persuasive. Can we economists agree that it is extremely hard work to squeeze truths from our data sets and what we genuinely understand will remain uncomfortably limited?

Many of these can be found in chapter 2 of From Poverty to Prosperity, so I will not reproduce them here.

The bottom line is that there are many ways to look at the question, and as far as I know, all of them point to essentially the same answer.

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    Oct 1, 2015. Article PDF Available in The Journal of Economic History. W. Fogel, Railroads and American Economic Growth Essays in Econometric.…

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