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The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics

Lawrence H. Summers
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Vol. 93, No. 2, Proceedings of a Conference on New Approaches to Empirical Macroeconomics (Jun., 1991), pp. 129-148
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
DOI: 10.2307/3440321
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3440321
Page Count: 20
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The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics
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Abstract

It is argued that formal econometric work, where elaborate technique is used to apply theory to data or isolate the direction of causal relationships when they are not obvious a priori, virtually always fails. The only empirical research that has contributed to thinking about substantive issues and the development of economics is pragmatic empirical work, based on methodological principles directly opposed to those that have become fashionable in recent years.

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