Sunday, January 29, 2012

Take Comfort From This

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

Albert Einstein

Friday, January 27, 2012

Asking for What you Don't Really Want

Sometimes, asking for something you don't really want can be an indirect way of getting something you actually do want or need. A million dollars? Not quite what I had in mind, actually. Nice thought, though!

Actually, what I had in mind was something a little more mundane. In particular, getting an econometric package to save you a lot of work by delivering up some information you need, when it's not at all apparent that the package is able to do so. It's a matter of asking it for something else, and getting what you really want as a by-product. A bonus, if you will!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hot Topics in Econometrics

Last week, Takamitsu Kurita asked me "What do you think will be the big developments in Econometrics over the next decade". We were having a drink following his seminar, and I really didn't have a good answer. I think those of us present ducked the question by saying that, as econometricians, we know only too well the pitfalls associated with forecasting! But Taka's question was a good one, and it certainly deserved a better response than I had at the time.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cointegration Analysis With I(2) & I(1) Data

Last Friday I went to a great seminar given by Takamitsu Kurita (Fukuoka University, Japan). Taka is currently a visiting scholar in our department, and his paper (here)  dealt with an interesting application of cointegration analysis when we have both I(2) and I(1) data to contend with.

This is a topic in time-series econometrics that's of great practical importance, and (quite rightly) is currently attracting quite a bit of attention.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Dynamic Stability of AR Models - Tricking EViews

In this post I'm going to focus on understanding the extent to which there's an equivalence between two different ways of estimating an AR(p) model for a time-series, Yt, using EViews, and to see what information is generated in each case.

In particular, I want to show you how you can "trick" EViews into showing you if your estimated dynamic regression model is "dynamically stable". That is, if the estimated coefficients for the lagged values of Y are such that the model is stationary. If the lag-order is above 2, this isn't something that's always easy to do by just looking at the estimated coefficient values.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Page on Blog

I've added a new page to the blog site - Econometrics Jobs.

On this page you'll find a small selection of advertisements for interesting jobs in Econometrics, around the world. These have been chosen to provide information about the wide-ranging opportunities for Econometricians.

The list will change frequently, as new jobs are posted, and others expire.

© 2012, David E. Giles

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are Those Conditions Necessary, or Just Sufficient?

We all know the difference between conditions that are necessary, and ones that are sufficient, for some result to hold. However, it's not uncommon for us to lose track of which is which when it comes to certain econometric results. I'm going to focus on just one example of this, and in doing so I'll try and clear up a common misconception.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Different Types of "Asymptotics"

When econometricians talk about the "asymptotic" properties of their estimators or tests, they're usually referring to their properties when the sample size becomes infinitely large. However, there are other types of "asymptotics" that are also interesting and important. It's worth being aware of this, and of the way they arise in econometric analysis.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Solving Mathematical Problems - the Tricki

Hat-tip to Sean Brocklebank (Economics, University of Edinburgh), through the Subgame Equilibrium blog, for pointing us to The Tricki

This is a Wiki site devoted to discussing and explaining the methods of proof that are used in various areas of mathematics. Probability and Statistics are among the fields covered, although as yet there are no entries for the second of these two particular sections.

In the Elementary Probability section I especially liked the entry on "Bounding Probabilities by Expectations", where there are some examples of using Markov's Inequality to good effect.

In short, there's a wealth of great information for students and teachers of Econometrics alike. I'll certainly be using it, and I'll be looking forward to seeing some entries in the Statistics section.

© 2012, David E. Giles

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


If you were planning to participate in the Choconomics Conference this September, a useful warm-up might be the 2012 Conference of the Society for Quantification in Gastronomy (Gastronometrica).

Apparently Coimbra & Viseu (Portugal) is the place to be from 30 May to 2 June this year.

Too many temptations.....too little time!

© 2012, David E. Giles

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Extracting the Correct Mean(ing) From the Data

We've all taken, and/or taught, an introductory course in descriptive statistics where we encounter measures of "central tendency", variability, summarizing grouped data, and so on. In such courses students are usually told about three ways of calculating the mean, or average, of a sample. These are the Arithmetic Mean, Geometric Mean, and Harmonic Mean. In my experience, economists often fail to use the most appropriate of these three measures. I think this is because often we don't provide enough motivation and explanation in those introductory courses.

Monday, January 9, 2012

In Praise of the Quick Retort

I don't know about you, but I'm highly envious of people who seem to be able to come up with the perfect retort, seemingly without even thinking. I tend to be of those who thinks of (what I consider to be) just the right remark - about 2 hours after it's needed! You could say I'm not that quick on my feet.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Granger Chair in Econometrics

Belated congratulations to Andres Santos and  Brendan Beare who were named in November as the inaugural co-holders of the Sir Clive W. J. Granger Endowed Chair in Econometrics, at the University of California, San Diego.

One of the really great things about this new Chair is that it's being used to support younger members of faculty in the UCSD Dept. of Economics. Santos and Beare are currently Assistant Professors there.

© 2012, David E. Giles

Saturday, January 7, 2012

C. R. Rao

Earlier this year, Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao received the Guy Medal in Gold, from the Royal Statistical Society. A statistician of world renown - indeed an icon in the profession - C. R. Rao is one of the last survivors of the "Golden Age of Statistics".

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cracking the Code of the Effective Exchange Rate

This is a post about using econometrics to crack a code. While this may seem a little strange, it's based on a true story, and it relates to the "effective exchange rate".

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Sage on the Stage

As a new teaching semester gets underway, it's interesting to ask: "Is there still a case to be made for the traditional academic lecture as an effective aid to learning?" 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions

Well, here we go again! It's time of year that we make all of those resolutions - the ones that usually get broken before the holiday decorations have been packed away. Not this year, though!