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Revisiting Tobin's 1950 Study of Food Expenditure

Edward E. Leamer
Journal of Applied Econometrics
Vol. 12, No. 5, Special Issue: The Experiment in Applied Econometrics (Sep. - Oct., 1997), pp. 533-553
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2285127
Page Count: 21
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Revisiting Tobin's 1950 Study of Food Expenditure
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Abstract

This re-analysis of Tobin's (1950) study makes three points: 1. Graphs are a powerful device for discovery and for communication, and can reveal much of the information in the data. 2. Squeezing out the more subtle multivariate messages requires some solution to the usual overparametrization problem. Data-mining is still the treatment of choice for this crippling disease, but it is more akin to leeches than to anti-biotics. A Bayesian sensitivity analysis is an alternative, but it isn't a perfect cure either. 3. Clear identification of the issues can help keep the enterprise from wandering off in technically amusing but largely irrelevant directions.

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