Reflections on Econometric Methodology

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Discussion Paper

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General issues about the methodology of empirical econometric research are discussed. It is argued that the most successful paradigms for applied work are the ones that have a capacity to survive and to evolve into more useful forms as these are needed. Paradigms that embrace progressive modeling principles, such as those espoused by David Hendry, seem most amenable to this criterion. It is also argued that econometric theory has a large role to play in helping us to understand the strengths and the weaknesses of a methodology and to codify what its prescriptions entail. The time series methodology of David Hendry is considered in some detail. It is shown that the Hendry methodology comes remarkable close to achieving an optimal inference procedure for long run structural relationships even though it is conducted on a single equation basis. The findings indicate that the methodology may be improved further to achieve results that are equivalent to optimal estimation.

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