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Putting Econometrics in its Place

A New Direction in Applied Economics G.M. Peter Swann, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School, UK
Putting Econometrics in its Place is an original and fascinating book, in which Peter Swann argues that econometrics has dominated applied economics for far too long and displaced other essential techniques. While Peter Swann is critical of the monopoly that econometrics currently holds in applied economics, the more important and positive contribution of the book is to propose a new direction and a new attitude to applied economics.
Extent: 264 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 85898 305 9
Availability: Out of Stock
Paperback Price: $56.00 Web: $44.80
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 776 0
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Econometrics
  • Methodology of Economics
Putting Econometrics in its Place is an original and fascinating book, in which Peter Swann argues that econometrics has dominated applied economics for far too long and displaced other essential techniques. While Peter Swann is critical of the monopoly that econometrics currently holds in applied economics, the more important and positive contribution of the book is to propose a new direction and a new attitude to applied economics.

The advance of econometrics from its early days has been a massive achievement, but it has also been problematic; practical results from the use of econometrics are often disappointing. The author argues that to get applied economics back on course economists must use a much wider variety of research techniques, and must once again learn to respect vernacular knowledge of the economy. This vernacular includes the knowledge gathered by ordinary people from their everyday interactions with markets. While vernacular knowledge is often unsystematic and informal, it offers insights that can never be found from formal analysis alone.

As a serious, original and sometimes contentious book, its readership will be varied and international. Scholars throughout the many fields of economics – both skilled and unskilled in econometrics – are likely to be intrigued by the serious alternative approaches outlined within the book. It will also appeal to communities of economists outside economics departments in government, industry and business as well as business and management schools. Research centres for applied economics, policy research and innovation research, will also find it of interest due to its focus on getting reliable results rather than methodological orthodoxy for its own sake.
‘I consider the book as well suited to provide a broader perspective on methods used in applied economic research. For the applied researcher the book will provide a nice overview on existing methods and some arguments as to which method might be particularly suitable for specific purposes.’
– Peter Winker, Jahrbücher f. Nationalökonomie u. Statistik

‘This is a refreshing look at applied economics, which the author argues should be so much more than applied econometrics plus experimental economics. What he calls vernacular economics is nothing less than an omnibus of fact-gathering techniques that economists have neglected far too long.’
– The late Mark Blaug, formerly of the University of London and University of Buckingham, UK
Contents:

Preface

PART I: WHAT IS APPLIED ECONOMICS?

1. Introduction

2. Economics Will Only be Applied if it is Applied

3. Econometrics as Alchemy?

PART II: THE FORMAL IN APPLIED ECONOMICS

4. The Surveyor’s Dream

5. What Do the Critics Say is Wrong?

6. The Problem of the Signal-to-Noise Ratio

PART III: THE VERNACULAR IN APPLIED ECONOMICS

7. Vernacular Economics

8. The Vernacular as Local Knowledge

9. Economic Research as Composition

PART IV: TEN APPROACHES TO APPLIED ECONOMICS

10. Plurality: Why and What?

11. Applied Econometrics

12. Experimental Economics

13. Surveys and Questionnaires

14. Simulation

15. Engineering Economics

16. Economic History and History of Economic Thought

17. Case Studies

18. Interviews

19. Common Sense and Intuition

20. Metaphor

21. Innovative Economics: An Essential Miscellany

PART V: THE FUTURE IN APPLIED ECONOMICS

22. Danger in the Present Trajectory

23. Changing Attitudes

24. How Do We Make the Future Happen?

25. Conclusion

References
Index