The role of hypothesis testing in the molding of econometric models


  • Kevin D. Hoover Duke University, United States



statistical testing, hypothesis tests, models, general-to-specific specification search, optional stopping, severe tests, costs of search, costs of inference, extreme-bounds analysis, LSE econometric methodology


This paper addresses the role of specification tests in the selection of a statistically admissible model used to evaluate economic hypotheses. The issue is formulated in the context of recent philosophical accounts on the nature of models and related to some results in the literature on specification search. In contrast to enumerative induction and a priori theory, powerful search methodologies are often adequate substitutes for experimental methods. They underwrite and support, rather than distort, statistical hypothesis tests. Their success is grounded in a systematic effort to mold appropriate models to, and test them against, constraints of the data.

Author Biography

Kevin D. Hoover, Duke University, United States

Kevin D. Hoover is professor of economics and philosophy at Duke University. He is the author of Causality in macroeconomics and The methodology of empirical macroeconomics. He is a past editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology and current editor of History of Political Economy.




How to Cite

Hoover, K. D. (2013). The role of hypothesis testing in the molding of econometric models. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 6(2), 43–65.