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Experiments outside the laboratory as a history of econometrics

Grant number: 19/17650-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 30, 2019
Effective date (End): March 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics
Principal Investigator:Pedro Garcia Duarte
Grantee:Arthur Brackmann Netto
Supervisor: Kevin D Hoover
Host Institution: Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade (FEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Duke University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/07105-6 - Experiments Outside the Laboratory as a history of Econometrics, BP.DR


Following the footsteps of Epstein (1987) and Morgan (1990), the history of econometrics has focused on the history of the Cowles Commission (CC) approach. It comes as no surprise that the initial efforts of the history of econometrics, thus, were closely related to the history of macroeconomics and mathematical economics. Renamed members of the CC were leading researchers in the field of dynamic economic models, economic fluctuations, business cycles and general equilibrium. The lack of focus on microeconometrics is interestingly illustrated by the CC 50th-anniversary celebration publications, which covered the role of the Foundation in Mathematical Economics, Macroeconomics, and Econometric Methodology (see Malinvaud 1988, Solow 1983, Debreu 1983).Hence, in four of the classic book-length inquiries on Econometrics, Epstein (1987), Morgan (1990), Louçã (2007) and Qin (1993), the term microeconometrics has not been cited not even once versus several citations to "macroeconometrics". Searches in databases that include history of economics' journals and papers organized by JEL code depict a similar picture. Microeconometrics is considerely undercited in historical papers. This is not a problem per se, given that it is a consolidated fact that macroeconomics and macroeconometrics had earlier developments in economics. However, it might disseminate a departmentalized history, in which microeconometrics and macroeconometrics developed as distinct and separated fields. With the exception of Heckman (2000, 2010), this has been the case in widely circulated papers (see Panhans and Singleton 2017, Biddle and Hamermesh 2017, Levitt and List 2008, Angrist and Pischke 2010, Backhouse and Cherrier 2010), where words such as "revolution", "turn" and "shift" set the tone of the narratives. Considering the lack of narratives about the history of microeconometrics, the present project intends to fulfill the gap by explaining the emergence of microeonomtrics through a history of experiments outside the laboratory as a history of econometrics. Microeconometrics have evolved during the passage from passive observations as simultaneity to passive observations as omitted variables, when econometricians started to deal with new disaggregated data. The project aims to explain how the widening of the passive observation problem led applied industrial relations departments to be the home of microeconometrics and microeconometricians to omit simultaneity as a relevant problem. Methodologically, the project will use primary evidence sucha as archives and interviews, as well as bibliometric evidence. In this regard, in supplement to the main material of the thesis, the project also inteds to offer supplementary material in at least two additional manners: 1) provide interactive code reports in order to support reproducibility of bibliometric results; 2) Provide access to the content of interviews through audio, video or written samples.

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