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The History of Econometric Ideas


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Table of Contents

List of figures; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Business Cycles: Introduction to business cycles; 1. Sunspot and Venus theories of the business cycle: 1.1. Jevons' sunspot theory; 1.2. Moore's Venus theory; 1.3. The decline of periodic cycle analysis; 2. Measuring and representing business cycles: 2.1. Juglar's credit cycle; 2.2. The statistical approach of W. C. Mitchell; 2.3. Persons and business barometers; 2.4. The business cycle research institutes; 2.5. Statistical economics and econometrics; Addendum: graphs and graphic methods; 3. Random shocks enter the business cycle scene: 3.1. The experiments of Yule and Slutsky; 3.2. Frisch's time-series analysis; 3.3. Frisch's rocking horse model of the business cycle; 4. Tinbergen and macrodynamic models: 4.1. The Dutch model; 4.2. The first League of Nations' report; 4.3. The second League of Nations' report; 4.4. the critical reaction to Tinbergen's work; Part II. Demand Analysis: Introduction to demand analysis; 5. Narrowing the data-theory gap in demand analysis: 5.1. Difficulties in early statistical measurements of demand; 5.2. Static theory and time-series data; 5.3. Econometric models of demand; 5.4. The data-theory gap under review; 6. The evolution of identification questions: 6.1. The emergence of correspondence problems; 6.2. Identifying the demand curve; 6.3. The identification of two relationships; 6.4. Back to the single demand curve; Part III. Formal models in econometrics: Introduction to formal models; 7. Errors-in-variables and errors-in equations models: 7.1. Errors and the single equation; 7.2. Errors and interdependent relationships; 7.3. Postscript: measurement errors and the method of instrumental variables; 8. Haavelmo's probability model: 8.1. Statistics without probability; 8.2. Signs of change; 8.3. Haavelmo's probabilistic revolution in econometrics; 8.4. The new consensus; Conclusion; References; Index.

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This book illustrates how economists first learnt to harness statistical methods to measure and test the 'laws' of economics.


'The book is so obviously valuable ... Historians of the discipline of economics will have to read and often refer to this book, which is remarkably well written and documented.' Professor Edmond Malinvaud, The Economic Journal 'Mary Morgan has written a fascinating and readable account of the development of econometrics, free of technicality and offering a whole agenda of questions for other scholars. [It] will be a major reference work; it is also much more than that, offering a most valuable historical and interdisciplinary perspective on one of the most important developments in economics ... a splendid piece of work.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Dr Morgan is to be congratulated for presenting us with a memorable and tasty dinner of econometric ideas.' Professor Arnold Zellner, Journal of Political Economy 'Morgan is a creative pioneer, and a skilled historian who has pieced together a delightful story.' Dr David Greasley, Economic History Review 'This book is a gem in its individual chapters, but the whole is much more than the sum of those parts. The writing is level clear and restrained; the suggestions are insightful and warranted.' Professor Neil de Marchi, Duke University

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