Keynes’s Critique of Econometrics Is Surprisingly Good

by Karl-Friedrich Israel

In a recent article we had a brief look at Ragnar Frisch’s (1895–1973) vision of econometric model building. As mentioned, Frisch was the first economist chosen over Mises to win the Nobel Prize in 1969. In fact, there was a second one in the same year. Frisch won the prize jointly with Dutchman Jan Tinbergen (1903–1994), who applied Frischian econometrics for the first time in large-scale macro models by the end of the 1930s.

In the first volume of his investigations into business cycles commissioned by the League of Nations, entitled Statistical Testing of Business Cycle Theories, published in 1939, Tinbergen exonerates the statistician and econometrician from his responsibility and explains:

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