Econometrics as a Con Art


Econometrics as a Con Art

Exposing the Limitations and Abuses of Econometrics

9781785369940 Edward Elgar Publishing
Imad A. Moosa, Adjunct Professor of Finance, Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam
Publication Date: 2017 ISBN: 978 1 78536 994 0 Extent: 296 pp
Imad Moosa challenges convention with this comprehensive and compelling critique of econometrics, condemning the common practices of misapplied statistical methods in both economics and finance.

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Imad Moosa challenges convention with this comprehensive and compelling critique of econometrics, condemning the common practices of misapplied statistical methods in both economics and finance.

After reviewing the Keynesian, Austrian and mainstream criticisms of econometrics, it is demonstrated that econometric models can be manipulated to produce any desired result. These hazardous analyses may then be relied upon to support flawed policy recommendations, ideological beliefs and private interests. Moosa proposes that the way forward should instead be to rely on clear thinking, intuition and common sense rather than to continue with the reliance upon econometrics. The mathematization of economics has limited the accessibility of and participation in economic discussion by converting the area into a complex ‘science’ when it should not be.

Appealing to both academics and practitioners of economics and finance, this book serves to challenge the acceptance of econometrics as offering trustworthy analysis. Any individual interested in empirical work will find this book a captivating read on the limitations of econometrics.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . every central bank should have a copy of Moosa’s book, even if it means it has to be read by the resident economist and statistician.’
– Central Banking

‘Econometrics as a Con Art is the best book I have read for a long time. Economists are fond of hailing econometrics as a major success, but it has achieved nothing of value. The truth is that beneath its “sciency” veneer economists regularly use econometrics to produce stir-fry regressions that can prove any nonsense. They can prove that eating margarine leads to more divorces or that more guns lead to fewer homicides. They can use it to prove or debunk any proposition, they can prove the obvious, they can prove what cannot be true and they can test the untestable. In this wonderful book Imad Moosa brilliantly debunks this industry for the junk science scam that it is. Every economist should read it but please not as a how-to manual. It is high time economists took the con out of econometrics; we have all suffered long-enough.’
– Kevin Dowd, Durham University, UK

‘Professor Moosa argues that the dominance of econometrics has damaged economics as a discipline. I entirely agree. Moosa is refreshingly blunt: “(econometrics) is a con art that can be used to prove almost anything”. Any applied economist concerned about the low regard in which our discipline is held should read this lively and hard-hitting critique.’
– Peter Swann, Nottingham University Business School, UK
Contents: 1. The Nature and Evolution of Econometrics 2. Components, Functions and Related Disciplines 3. Econometrics as a Science 4. The Laws of Economics and Science 5. Econometric Analysis: Loopholes and Shortcomings 6. Criticism of Econometrics: Keynes, Leamer, Lucas and the Austrians 7. Stir-Fry Regressions as a Con Job 8. Cointegration Analysis: Principles and Fallacies 9. Cointegration Analysis: Applications and Illustrations 10. Sensitivity and Insensitivity of Empirical Results 11. The Forecasting Fiasco 12. Concluding Thoughts Index

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