Working Paper // School of Economics and Finance, Queen Mary, University of London 661
This paper examines the history of econometrics through a particular case study - modelling the tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. It focuses on the questions of what econometric tools modellers would choose to model the tradeoff, how their choices helped shape the ways that they obtained, interpreted and theorised the empirical evidence and how their different concerns and the different problems that they encountered has fed back into the development of econometrics. The study reveals that much of the interaction between econometrics and economics involved modellers taking certain tradeoffs between theory and data, and their different positions generated disputes, factions as well as confusions. It also reveals that the history of modelling the tradeoff mirrors the evolving process of how the Cowles structural modelling paradigm in econometrics became consolidated, challenged, reformed or abandoned.