Charles Manski on the importance of accounting for policy uncertainty

February 20th, 2016 at 10:56 am

I forgot to post this here yesterday, as I think OTE’ers would quite like it, within a confidence interval, of course. Charles Manski, an economist/econometrician who’s thought deeply about the importance of accounting for errors in economic data and forecasts, and who also miraculously speaks fairly plainly about it, agreed to answer some questions I posed.

Over at WaPo.

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One comment in reply to "Charles Manski on the importance of accounting for policy uncertainty"

  1. Chris G says:

    Great interview. That stated, Manski’s observation that “The consistent response has been that [reporting upper and lower bounds as well as a central forecast] is not feasible because Congress does not want to hear about uncertainty.” is profoundly depressing – not at all surprising but depressing nonetheless. I earn my living as a scientist/engineer. In my work the error bars you put on your predictions are often as important as the central value you report.

    Reality is what it is but I can’t get past the thought of “How can anyone in their right mind make a policy recommendation without understanding the limits of the model(s) on which their recommendation is based?” I don’t apply that to people who exhibit no signs of rational behavior but self-described wonks should know better – and often they don’t appear to.


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