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From the Barnes and Noble Outline of Economics (the text I have handy):
<quote>The primary aim, then, of economics is an explanation of _how_ an
economic system operates-- that is, how are scarce means of productions
allocated to satisfy human wants of varying importance? Some of the problems
are as follows: How are choices made with regard to the kinds and quantities
of goods produced? How are decisions reached with regard to the placement of
individuals in different production positions and to their remuneration? Are
goods and services made available to individuals on the basis of their
needs, or on the basis of their contribution and remuneration as producers?
Are jobs always available for willing workers? What is the role of
government in the process of allocation? </quote>
You can use a stats method in economics but as the book states a few pages
later, you can ALSO use the historical method or the deductive method. All 3
have their place for creating hypotheses, tests, models, and explanations
but not one of them is the essence of economics.
Vice-president, Programs of the Inland Empire chapter of the STC
----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Monday, 12 June, 2000 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: Structure vs Substance?
| And despite what you say Sharon, the collection and analysis of
| data is the essence of economics. Not only that, but acquisition of valid
| data about economies is extremely difficult to obtain, and is even more
| when the object of study is some innovative new wrinkle (e.g., the Web).
| Even when you have valid statistical data, the analysis of that data for
| purpose of understanding and explaining new economic factors and
| predicting their long-term impacts is difficult, and typically takes
| many years of data before reliable conclusions can be made.
| If you are an economist who is not directly using statistics in your work,
| then you are relying on the published work of economists who do that
| kind of work (i.e., the collection, validation, and analysis of
| about specific aspects of economies).
| Statistics is the fundamental underpinning of Economics, and it is only
| underpinning that qualifies it to be classified as a science.
| Hence its other name--the "Dismal Science,"
| where the dismal part is the statistics.