Causality in macroeconometrics: some considerations about reductionism and realism

Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):433-453 (2005)
Abstract
This paper investigates the varieties of reductionism and realism about causal relations in macroeconometrics. There are two issues, which are kept distinct in the analysis but which are interrelated in the development of econometrics. The first one is the question of the reducibility of causal relations to regularities, measured in statistics by correlations. The second one is the question of the reducibility of causes among macroeconomic aggregates to microeconomic behaviour. It is argued that there is a continuum of possible positions between realism and reductionism for both the questions, but, as far as the second question is concerned, the dominant position of mainstream macroeconometrics is strongly reductionist. The paper defends an integrative approach that emphasizes the gradual nature of many real world cases.
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