Undergraduate Econometrics Instruction: Through Our Classes, Darkly

25 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017

See all articles by Joshua D. Angrist

Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jörn-Steffen Pischke

London School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

The past half-century has seen economic research become increasingly empirical, while the nature of empirical economic research has also changed. In the 1960s and 1970s, an empirical economist’s typical mission was to “explain” economic variables like wages or GDP growth. Applied econometrics has since evolved to prioritize the estimation of specific causal effects and empirical policy analysis over general models of outcome determination. Yet econometric instruction remains mostly abstract, focusing on the search for “true models” and technical concerns associated with classical regression assumptions. Questions of research design and causality still take a back seat in the classroom, in spite of having risen to the top of the modern empirical agenda. This essay traces the divergent development of econometric teaching and empirical practice, arguing for a pedagogical paradigm shift.

Suggested Citation

Angrist, Joshua and Pischke, Jörn-Steffen (Steve), Undergraduate Econometrics Instruction: Through Our Classes, Darkly (February 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23144. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2915971

Joshua Angrist (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-353
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-8909 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jörn-Steffen (Steve) Pischke

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
+44 207 955 6509 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7595 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
75
Abstract Views
402
rank
182,723
PlumX Metrics