Bernt P. Stigum

Bernt P. Stigum is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oslo. He is the author of Toward a Formal Science of Economics (MIT Press) and Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics.

  • Econometrics in a Formal Science of Economics

    Econometrics in a Formal Science of Economics

    Theory and the Measurement of Economic Relations

    Bernt P. Stigum

    An examination of the role of theory in applied econometrics.

    Econometrics is a study of good and bad ways to measure economic relations. In this book, Bernt Stigum considers the role that economic theory ought to play in such measurements and proposes a formal science of economics that provides the means to solve the measurement problems faced by econometric researchers. After describing the salient parts of a formal science of economics, Stigum compares its methods with the methods of contemporary applied econometrics. His goal is to develop a basis for meaningful discussion of the best way to incorporate economic theory in empirical analysis.

    Stigum conceives two scenarios for research in applied econometrics: contemporary econometrics in the tradition of Trygve Haavelmo and the formal theory-data confrontation envisioned by Ragnar Frisch. Stigum presents case studies of economic phenomena, contrasting the empirical analysis prescribed by contemporary applied econometrics with the empirical analysis prescribed by a formal theory-data confrontation. He finds significant and provocative differences. Which are we to believe when the statistical analyses of these two methodologies yield very different descriptions of the behavior characteristics of data variables and inferences about social reality?

    Stigum points to three aspects of contemporary econometric methodology that may benefit from serious discussions: the analysis of positively valued time series, a suspect characteristic of qualitative response models, and the search for linearly cointegrated time series. These three aspects are of as much concern to formal econometrics as they are to contemporary econometrics.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Toward a Formal Science of Economics

    Toward a Formal Science of Economics

    Bernt P. Stigum

    Toward a Formal Science of Economics provides a unifying way to look at the concept of economic science.

    Toward a Formal Science of Economics provides a unifying way to look at the concept of economic science. It lays a foundation for the axiomatic method, focusing on applications in economics and econometrics, and including discussions in logic, epistemology, and probability theory. Each chapter deals with a topic of fundamental importance to a rigorous science of economics while illustrating an aspect of the axiomatic method.

    Stigum describes an introductory course in mathematical logic, developing a symbolic language for mathematics and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the axiomatic method. He presents the standard theory of consumer choice, illustrating different aspects of the use of the axiomatic method and evaluating economic theories of individual behavior. He takes up problems in the foundations of econometrics and choice under uncertainty and offers an introduction to nonstandard analysis that leads to discussion of exchange and probability in hyperspace. A section on epistemology completes Stigum's construction of a formal unitary methodological basis for theoretical and empirical science.

    The last three parts of the book apply these methodological tools to various topics in economics and econometrics including empirical analyses of the permanent income hypothesis and consumer choice among risky and nonrisky assets; discussion of determinism, uncertainty, and the utility hypothesis; and study of topics of importance to the analysis of economic time series.

    • Hardcover $21.75 £17.99