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Global Policy Institute

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Publication details

Reiss, Julian (2015). Two Approaches to Reasoning From Evidence or What Econometrics Can Learn From Biomedical Research. Journal of Economic Methodology 22(3): 373-390.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper looks at an appeal to the authority of biomedical research that has recently been used by empirical economists to motivate and justify their methods. I argue that those who make this appeal mistake the nature of biomedical research. Randomised trials, which are said to have revolutionised biomedical research, are a central methodology, but according to only one paradigm. There is another paradigm at work in biomedical research, the inferentialist paradigm, in which randomised trials play no special role. I outline the inferentialist alternative in broad strokes, apply it to a recent controversy in econometrics and draw some general conclusions concerning econometric methodology.