25.9.03

ECONOMICS ENVY? Daniel Drezner reacts strongly to David Adesnik's comments on the methodology of political science. Well worth a look, and be sure to go to the cross-referenced posts. (Signifying Nothing is all over the story here and here.) I'm content to observe, and to offer only these observations.

1. It is difficult to analyze data sets of any kind, new or old, without some sort of testable implications in mind a priori. That doesn't equate in my mind to microeconomics envy, in fact economists are content to let theorists theorize whether or not their work produces any testable implications.

2. The rewards to developing new data sets are proportional to the published research one can produce with them. The opportunity costs of developing such data sets are higher than those of using existing ones, but the returns are potentially greater. (This is from someone who bet his career early on on some hero projects involving his own data sets.)

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