An area of economics where statistical and mathematical methods are used to analyze economic data

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What is Econometrics?

Econometrics is an area of economics where statistical and mathematical methods are used to analyze economic data. Individuals who are involved with econometrics are referred to as econometricians.

Econometricians test economic theories and hypotheses by using statistical tools such as probability, statistical inference, regression analysis, frequency distributions, and more. After testing economic theories, econometricians can compare the results with real data and observations, which can be helpful in forecasting future economic trends.


The purpose is to use statistical modeling and analysis in order to transform qualitative economic concepts into quantitative information that individuals can use. For example, policymakers can use the information to create new fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate the economy.

Suppose that policymakers are creating a new policy to increase the number of jobs in order to improve the unemployment rate and boost the economy. Econometricians test if this hypothesis will be true or not by using statistical models.

How Does Econometrics Work?

The following steps are the methodology of econometrics:

  1. Econometricians who are examining a dataset will suggest a theory or hypothesis to explain the data. At this stage, econometricians would define variables found in the economic model and the relationship between different variables. In order to come up with a hypothesis to explain the relationships, econometricians would look at existing economic theories.
  2. The second stage is to define a statistical model to quantify the economic theory that is being analyzed in the first step.
  3. In the third stage, statistical procedures are used to forecast unknown points in the statistical model. Econometricians may even use econometric software in order to assist with this step.
  4. Hypothesis testing is done in order to determine whether or not the hypothesis should be rejected or not. If it is rejected, the econometrician should come up with new definitions in the statistical model. The purpose of doing so is to assess the validity of the economic model.

There are various approaches to econometrics, and it is not limited to the methodology described above. Other methodologies include the vector autoregression approach and the Cowles Commission approach.

Examples of Using Econometrics

In the past, econometricians have studied patterns and relationships between different economic concepts, including:

  • Income and expenditure
  • Production, supply, and cost
  • Labor and capital
  • Salary and productivity

What is Applied Econometrics?

Econometrics can be separated into two main categories: applied and theoretical. The main goal for an applied econometrician is to turn qualitative data into something quantitative.

Applied econometrics refers to the idea of how economic data and theories are used to draw conclusions to improve decision-making and assist in solving economic issues. Its purpose is to enable the government, policymakers, businesses, and financial institutions to gain insight into possible solutions that can be used to solve economic problems. In order to do so, applied econometricians would analyze economic metrics, try to find out if there are any statistical trends, and predict what the outcome would be for an economic issue.

For example, suppose an applied econometrician is comparing household income with inflation rates and concludes that there is a relationship between the two. As a result, the government can use the research from econometricians to impose changes to policies that can increase household income during times of inflation.

What is Theoretical Econometrics?

Theoretical econometrics is about analyzing existing statistical procedures in order to predict anomalies or unknown parameters in economic data. Besides analyzing current statistical procedures, theoretical econometricians also develop new statistical procedures and methodologies in order to explain anomalies found in economic data.

As a result, theoretical econometricians depend on mathematical techniques and statistical theories to ensure that the new procedures that they develop can successfully generate correct economic conclusions.

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