The Credibility Revolution: A Nobel for Taking (some of) the CON out of Econometrics

Economist Writing Every Day

Yesterday Jeremy pointed out that while the 2021 economics Nobelists have reached various conclusions in their study of labor economics, the prize was really awarded to the methods they developed and used.

I find the best explanation of the value of these methods to be this 2010 article by Angrist and Pischke in the Journal of Economic Perspectives: The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics

Like Jeremy, they think that empirical economic research (that is, research using econometrics) was most quite bad up to the 1980’s; as Ed Leamer put it in his paper “Let’s take the CON out of Econometrics”:

This is a sad and decidedly unscientific state of affairs we find ourselves in. Hardly anyone takes data analyses seriously. Or perhaps more accurately, hardly anyone takes anyone else’s data analyses seriously.

Angrist and Pischke argue that the field…

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