Being a Good Econometrician is not Enough!

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In this article, I present a new argument against McCloskey’s rhetoric of economics and discuss the Reinhart-Rogoff affair. First, I operationalize the epistemic advices given by McCloskey’s rhetoric of economics. Second, I conduct an econometric exercise and produce contradictory models of the relation between individualist/collectivist orientation of a society and economic development. Third, I analyse Reinhart and Rogoff’s recently widely discussed ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’ and its criticism. These two case studies show that conducting a research in accordance with a McCloskian definition of ‘goodness’ leads to accepting contradictory hypotheses. Therefore, the rhetoric of economics fails to assist in the problem of theory appraisal. Two solutions to the difficulty that arises are offered. Either a realist point of view should be applied or a constructivist approach should be enriched by elaborating on a method of theory choice.

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