The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes
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The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes

Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann

The most influential and controversial economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes was the leading founder of modern macroeconomics, and was also an important historical figure as a critic of the Versailles Peace Treaty after World War I and an architect of the Bretton Woods international monetary system after World War II. This comprehensive Companion elucidates his contributions, his significance, his historical context and his continuing legacy.
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Chapter 45: Econometrics: the Keynes–Tinbergen controversy

Marcel Boumans


The controversy between Keynes and Tinbergen was about the applicability of regression analysis to economic material. According to Keynes, a necessary requirement was that the economic material is homogeneous, in time and place, and that therefore Tinbergen should test his material for this condition. Tinbergen never addressed this problem, because he assumed that economic material was like the material studied in natural science, namely, homogeneous. He therefore could not understand Keynes’s criticisms, and so assumed that Keynes did not understand his method.

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