Computational Econometrics: Its Impact on the Development of Quantitative Economics
This publication contains a substantial amount of detail about the broad history of the development of econometric software based on the personal recollections of many people. For economists, the computer has increasingly become the primary applied research tool, and it is software that makes the computer work. It matters that this software should be the best that it can be, for not only does it permit necessary calculations to be performed but it also determines, for better or worse over time, how easy or how difficult the applied research process will be for each succeeding generation of economists. This assertion assumes of course the availability of the necessary data, and that observations can be obtained relatively easily—but in the day of the Internet, data distribution is also a matter of software. And, in addition, there is the consideration that both the quality and the amount of possible research, as a matter of time spent, may be crucially dependent on just how good that software is, both in its computational properties and as a time saver. This publication includes revealing descriptions of computer-based research that illustrates the role of the computer in the progress of econometric theory and economic research and aspects of the development of econometric software, starting from the hand calculation era and continuing to relatively modern times.