Are residual economic relationships normally distributed? Testing an assumption of neoclassical economics

Are residual economic relationships normally distributed? Testing an assumption of neoclassical... In both theoretical and applied contexts, neoclassical economics typically assumes that residual economic relationships are mean-zero, finite-variance, normally distributed random variables. However, many have challenged this view, from various perspectives. The Austrian economists, specifically in the tradition of Mises and Rothbard, reject outright the effort to mathematically model human choices. This Austrian view is often derided as unscientific. However, some of the most mathematically sophisticated work in financial economics also rejects the orthodox bell curve. In this paper, we test Benoit Mandelbrot’s “stable Paretian” hypothesis on ten major macroeconomic data sets and reject the normal distribution in nine of them. We further argue that the stable Paretian hypothesis (and, more generally, the field of “chaos theory”) is far more compatible with the Austrian position than one might initially suspect. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Are residual economic relationships normally distributed? Testing an assumption of neoclassical economics

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-008-0045-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In both theoretical and applied contexts, neoclassical economics typically assumes that residual economic relationships are mean-zero, finite-variance, normally distributed random variables. However, many have challenged this view, from various perspectives. The Austrian economists, specifically in the tradition of Mises and Rothbard, reject outright the effort to mathematically model human choices. This Austrian view is often derided as unscientific. However, some of the most mathematically sophisticated work in financial economics also rejects the orthodox bell curve. In this paper, we test Benoit Mandelbrot’s “stable Paretian” hypothesis on ten major macroeconomic data sets and reject the normal distribution in nine of them. We further argue that the stable Paretian hypothesis (and, more generally, the field of “chaos theory”) is far more compatible with the Austrian position than one might initially suspect.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 26, 2008

References

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