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Economics. Theories and Data. Positive statements Normative statements Most disagreement among the economists is about normative stuff But remember about preconceptions. Theory – what do you think a theory is? A techy way to think about: Real world phenomena and what we want to explain

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economics

Economics

Theories and Data

slide2

Positive statements

  • Normative statements
  • Most disagreement among the economists is about normative stuff
  • But remember about preconceptions
slide3

Theory – what do you think a theory is?

  • A techy way to think about:
    • Real world phenomena and what we want to explain
    • Phenomenon in a theory = a variable
      • Well defined item
      • Can take on many values
      • Exogenous variable
      • Endogenous variable
slide4

A model

    • An abstract that relates variables
    • Can be manipulated easily
    • Do not have to break a real thing
    • !!! Used as a synonym for “theory” all the time
  • Model + Variables = Theory
    • Good theory
      • Clear
      • Simple
      • General
      • Refutable
slide5

A theory is a guess, has to be tested to obtain credibility

    • Rejection vs confirmation vs proof
    • Experiments vs statistics/econometrics
    • Correlation vs causation
    • !!! Used as a synonym for “theory” all the time
  • Model + Variables = Theory
    • Good theory
      • Clear
      • Simple
      • General
      • Refutable