“Emerging Contrary Result” Phenomenon and Scientific Realism
Keywords:Econometrics, Emerging contrary result phenomenon, ERR, Minimal scientific realism, Robustness checks, Reinhart-Rogoff controversy
The article is aimed at reconsidering the question if the project of econometrics can be read in line with scientific realism. Previously, the methodological literature focused on the philosophy of econometrics, voices criticizing realist interpretations of econometrics were raised. The criticism was aimed at showing that econometric models lack robustness. The use of slightly different methods leads to obtaining different and often contrary models what supposedly undermine the project of econometrics. In this article, I aim at offering a new argument in defence of the current practice of the economists devoted to the empirical branch of macroeconomics. To do so, I apply Mäki’s (2009) model of representation to three case studies of contradictory pairs of econometric models and argue that contrary results are not necessarily a drawback of econometrics. Instead, the seemingly contradictory pairs of models are useful in various contexts constituted by their purpose and audience.
Keywords: Econometrics, Emerging contrary result phenomenon, ERR, Minimal scientific realism, Robustness checks, Reinhart-Rogoff controversy.
JEL: B41, C18, C82.