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Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics Worlds apart?stigum's

A Research Annual

ISBN: 978-0-85724-059-0, eISBN: 978-0-85724-060-6

Publication date: 25 June 2010


The long delay between the publication of Bernt Stigum's magnum opus and this review owes not only in part to personal reasons of no interest to anyone but the reviewer, but also to the sheer heft and density of the book itself. It is a long (768 pages) and difficult book. In fact, it is really two books: the first is Stigum's treatise on the philosophy of econometrics and the second is an anthology of contributions, constituting 8 of its 27 chapters, from a distinguished group of 16 econometricians, including two Nobel Prize winners (Granger and McFadden). The anthology sits somewhat uneasily alongside the treatise. The inclusion criteria seem to be either that the topic is one that Stigum thought ought to be covered or one that illustrates his larger points. Yet, it is unclear that the contributors fully subscribe to Stigum's analysis or that their contributions do not rather obscure than clarify his own position. The work would have been stronger and more readable had Stigum chosen to publish the treatise and the anthology separately. Even broken up in this way, Stigum's own 329 page contribution would be a formidable and erudite work. Although it is rare enough to find a scholar who is comfortable in mixing such disparate thinkers as Aristotle, Carol Gilligan, and E.E. Evans-Pritchard in the same work, it is, I am sure, unprecedented when that work is principally concerned with econometrics.


Hoover, K.D. (2010), " Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics Worlds apart?stigum's", Biddle, J.E. and Emmett, R.B. (Ed.) A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 28 Part 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 297-303.



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