This confusion stems from the fact that econometricians wearmany different hats.First, and foremost, they are economists,capable of utilizing economic theory toimprove their empiricalanalyses of the problems they address. At times theyaremathematicians, formulating economic theory in ways that make itappropriate forstatistical testing. At times they are accountants,concerned with the problem offinding and collecting economic dataand relating theoretical economic variables toobservable ones. Attimes they are applied statisticians, spending hours withthecomputer trying to estimate economic relationships or predicteconomic events. Andat times they are theoretical statisticians,applying their skills to the development ofstatistical techniquesappropriate to the empirical problems characterizing thescience ofeconomics. It is to the last of these roles that the term"econometrictheory" applies, and it is on this aspect ofeconometrics that most textbooks on thesubject focus. This guide isaccordingly devoted to this "econometric theory"dimension ofeconometrics, discussing the empirical problems typical ofeconomicsand the statistical techniques used to overcome theseproblems.
Modern econometrics texts try to infuse this art into studentsby providing a largenumber of detailed examples of empiricalapplication. This important dimension ofeconometrics texts liesbeyond the scope of this book. Readers should keep this inmind asthey use this guide to improve their understanding of the purelystatisticalmethods of econometrics.
Critics might choose to paraphrase the Malinvaud quote as "Theart of drawing acrooked line from an unproved assumption to aforegone conclusion." Theimportance of a proper understanding ofeconometric techniques in the face of apotential inferiority ofeconometrics to inspired economic theorizing is captured nicelybySamuelson (1965, p. 9): "Even if a scientific regularity were lessaccurate than theintuitive hunches of a virtuoso, the fact that itcan be put into operation by thousandsof people who are notvirtuosos gives it a transcendental importance." This guideisdesigned for those of us who are not virtuosos! 2b1af7f3a8