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Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion
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Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  201 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The core methods in today's econometric toolkit are linear regression for statistical control, instrumental variables methods for the analysis of natural experiments, and differences-in-differences methods that exploit policy changes. In the modern experimentalist paradigm, these techniques address clear causal questions such as: Do smaller classes increase learning? Shoul ...more
ebook, 392 pages
Published December 15th 2008 by Princeton University Press
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Before I say anything about this book, here are some snippets of the back-cover praise: "This pathbreaking book... clever and funny..." (Robinson), "Interesting and unusual, this is an econometrics book with attitude" (Imbens), "A well-written and very quirky take on econometric practice" (Ashenfelter). Um, did these people read the same book I just read? Quirky? Attitude? Where? The only quirky thing about this book is that the authors stick a Douglas Adams quote from the Hitchiker's Guide to t ...more
I tried using this as a companion/study guide for studying for a comprehensive exam, and it didn't seem to take. I appreciate their desire to put forth a re-conceptualization of practical econometrics, but the outcome is scarcely more readable than a textbook, despite the marketing. You need much more math than they let on to have any idea what they are talking about; it's almost as if this is for advanced practitioners and teachers of econometrics, not students. Maybe as I gain more experience ...more
The professor of my econometrics class last semester (the first econometrics class I'd ever taken) recommended this book as a supplement to class/our textbook. The book takes a lighthearted (at times humorous) approach, and does a good job explaining the big picture. However, it seems to not really be for people who have taken only one class in the subject, so I spent a lot of time either going back through the textbook or just plain confused. It's clearly a very good resource, but I would have ...more
This is the book of common prayer for econometrics. Although, to be honest, it's more useful than that.

Seriously, this book is an actually funny to read book which clearly runs through a lot of important concepts in statistics for the social sciences.

Alec Myres
Great companion to a normal econometrics textbook. I used this in my second semester of econometrics and it was helpful to have explanations and a bit of a narrative in addition to just equations and proofs. Helps make good sense of the subject.
I havent read this entire book. So far just the sections of it that pertained to things I was working on, which is maybe a third of it. Its on my desk at work and I still look at it sometimes. Good reference book.

Pros: Funny, big focus on causal social science framework, up to date with newer econometric techniques, authors know their shit.

Cons: Too much matrix algebra, not enough applied focus, basically no coding examples.

I have a computer that runs the models. I dont care that much about the
This is not a book for beginners, but it is really a good book.
Tac Anderson
This was a recommendation from my manager at work to our team and it's possibly the last book recommendation of his I take. I give this book a four, because the fact that I could understand as much of the book as I did, is a true testament to the authors. This book was way above my level of analysis but I found myself (mostly) able to understand the principles discussed. And any non-fiction book that liberally references and quotes Douglas Adams as much as this book did automatically get's 4 sta ...more
As his other brother I couldn't agree more...
Feb 10, 2013 Gwen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
When I saw the words "Bayesian" and "Monte Carlo" I pictured my father-in-law, esteemed member of the Royal Statistical Society, lecturing my poor husband, and realized that I should stick with Freakonomics-level books. I'll have a look, though. I think I understand Monte Carlo a little...
A good book, but you definitely need to know econometrics before diving into this one. So it's not "pop economics" like Freakonomics. There's a decent review also at the Econometrics Books website.
Kw Estes
A decent book if you already know your econometrics. Don't be fooled by the title and other playful aspects of the book's presentation though--it is a serious econometrics book and not for beginners.
Misha Angrist
Okay so my brother wrote it and I didn't understand a lot of it. But if you liked Freakonomics and want to geta bit more technical, it's totally for you.
did not actually finish this one...
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