Full text: Study week on the econometric approach to development planning

scope will be noted. One is the feed-back on fact-finding of an 
explanatory model: the construction of the model makes use of 
empirical observations, and once the model has been constructed it 
directs the fact-finding to new types of observations that are of rele- 
vance for the improvement of the model. The second point is that 
the problems of short-range and long-range forecasting often are dis- 
tinctly different, and require quite different types of explanatory 
models. This is so in meteorology: The thermodynamic theory pro- 
vides fairly realistic forecasts over the next 24 or 48 hours; the 
cyclones usually die out in a matter of days, so if we want weather 
prediction over weeks instead of days we must find another theore- 
tical basis for the forecasting model. 
At the other extreme, I should like to refer to the science of 
history, and then place economics and econometrics as intermediate 
between meteorology and history. History, of course, is in a sense 
very near to economics, and reference is here made to the brilliant 
review in Prof. STONE’s paper of the interdependence between the 
economic developments on the one hand, and political objectives 
and policy making on the other. Here we are on the border between 
economics and history, and if we adopt Prof. MAHALANOBIS’ global 
point of view this is perhaps more history and politics than econo- 
mics. Anyway, it is interesting to examine this area with regard to 
the three types (1)-(3) of models. The prevalent view among pro- 
fessional historians is that forecasting lies outside the realm of their 
science. In a way, of course, this is true, or rather a truism; history 
looks back into the past to explore « wie es eigentlich gewesen sei, » 
to quote a famous dictum. The point I wish to make is, however, 
that history does not show an entirely blank record when it comes 
to forecasting. For one thing, the study of history is one of the lines 
of university education that by long tradition qualify for a career in 
the diplomatic corps and other strata of civil service where judgements 
and counsels about future developments are important elements of 
the professional activity. Of special interest in this respect is the 
great work of ARNOLD TOYNBEE. It is a question what is most 
admirable, his encyclopedian approach toward historical fact-finding. 
Stone - pag. 93

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