How do econometricians proceed in their analysis of an economic problem? That is, what is their methodology? Although there are several schools of thought on econometric methodology, we present here the traditional or classical methodology, which still dominates empirical research in economics and other social and behavioral sciences.9
Broadly speaking, traditional econometric methodology proceeds along the following lines:
1. Statement of theory or hypothesis.
2. Specification of the mathematical model of the theory
3. Specification of the statistical, or econometric, model
4. Obtaining the data
5. Estimation of the parameters of the econometric model
6. Hypothesis testing
7. Forecasting or prediction
8. Using the model for control or policy purposes.
To illustrate the preceding steps, let us consider the well-known Keynesian theory of consumption.
8Aris Spanos, Probability Theory and Statistical Inference: Econometric Modeling with Observational Data, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, 1999, p. 21.
9For an enlightening, if advanced, discussion on econometric methodology, see David F. Hendry, Dynamic Econometrics, Oxford University Press, New York, 1995. See also Aris Spanos, op. cit.
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