Template talk:Economics sidebar/Archive 3

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National accounting as methodology?

I propose removing national accounting from the methodology section. (Others may wish to remove it from this template entirely.) The template for economics ignores National accounting. National accounting is not a methodology for economics, any more than personal accounting, business accounting, public accounting, official statistics, etc., methodologies for economics. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 23:52, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

For the benefit of others, National accounting has already been removed from the template (by KW [1]).

Perhaps KW meant to propose removal of national accounting in the template section currently titled "Mathematical & scientific methods" if it returns in the future --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:44, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

On other points:

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"National accounting" versus "National accounts" as template-link label

A recent template edit changed the long-standing template link from "National accounting" to "National accounts" (with the same target link for both). The Edit summary referred to "per WP:least surprise". I believe that the quoted explanation is a misreading of the relevant WP guideline. The relevant link is Wikipedia:Redirect#Do not "fix" links to redirects that are not broken whose 1st paragraph reads:

Where PLA represents Principle of Least Astonishment -->
Shortcuts:
We follow the "principle of least astonishment"—after following a redirect, the reader's first question is likely to be: "hang on ... I wanted to read about this. Why has the link taken me to that?". Make it clear to the reader that they have arrived in the right place.

The close wording of "National accounts" & "National accounting" alone should make it clear to most readers that they are in the right place. The first paragraph of National accounts explicitly notes the relation of the two terms.

An advantage of "National accounting" (over "National accounts") as the link term in the Econ template is this: It suggests an applied counterpart to (private or non-National) accounting as a method of analysis. "Accounting" in the context of the national accounts (that is, as a method of analysis paralleling private accounting) is used in: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2008, 2nd Edition:

"national income" Abstract.
"national accounting, history of" Abstract.
"generational accounting," Abstract and uncorrected proof.
"green national accounting," Abstract.
"growth accounting" by Francesco Caselli. Abstract.
"level accounting" Abstract.
The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1987 "social accounting"

It should likewise be used in the Econ template, because 'National accounting' (as an Econ method) facilitates the practical implementation of National accounts for countries A, B, etc. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Placement of National accounting in "Methods" or "Fields & subfields" section of Template?

Obviously, national accounting is better placed next to macroeconomics growth, and development. Can you find one serious department that teaches national accounting as part of its core graduate sequences---usually micro, macro, math, and econometrics---or even as a methods course? In the world, a handful of statistics programs teach official statistics and include coursework on national accounting, but such topics are usually taught be employees of federal statistical agencies and forecasting firms.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (talk) 16:29, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
1T. Well, 'National accounting' is not obviously better "placed placed next to macroeconomics [in one section of the Template], growth, and development [in another section of the template]. Rather, it's physically impossible to do that in the current Economics sidebar, because they are in different sections.
2T. It would be better for "Macroeconomics" to place 'National accounting' closer to it (namely in the Template in the "methods" section) than next to Growth and Development. We need not look to graduate-course titles. National accounting is usually discussed at the beginning the macro section of Econ Principles textbooks. Placement in the Methods section would reflect that connection. Its placement there also works for Growth and Development, since it is a method that feeds into those subjects.
3T. National accounting' is simply the name of the methodology that 'National accounts' uses, as classified under in JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories at JEL: C8. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC) --22:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
RE 1T: True.
RE 2T: The JEL-classification distinguishes the methodology of national accounting from the economics of national accounting. The presently existing National accounts article is about the latter; indeed, national accounting doesn't exist on Wikipedia (although there is a re-direct to national accounts).  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 21:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
4T. Well, it's unnecessary to have 2 articles when one is sufficient to distinguish "national accounting" and "national accounts", per (3T) above [broken out from (2T) above]. "Economics of national accounting" might be good as an Econ principles textbook chapter title or subheading, but less good as an explanation of the difference between "national accounting" and "national accounts" IMO. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I have no strong objection to this movement, since the WP article on accounts does emphasize methodological aspects. However, the same arguments can be made for the methodology of almost any area of economics, which all use abstraction and economic principles. I would again urge returning optimization and game theory (particularly the latter) to its rightful position as a methodology (as noted in the JEL classification).  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 17:27, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
5T. Well, I am somewhat encouraged by the 1st sentence as to placement of National accounting in the template. As for the rest...
6T. Actually "Methodologies" was an earlier section title of the template, on which see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Economics_sidebar/Archive_1#Proposed_edit_stemming_from_.22Methodologies.22_section. I think by common consent, it unnecessarily removed useful analytical distinctions of subjects. I hope that the above Edit is not a prelude to inviting more such problems with a template section heading of "Methodologies" or a return to "Methods" (argued against above at Template talk:Economics sidebar#"Technical methods" versus "Methods" heading in this template)).
7T. With the current Econometrics section in the template (replacing the "Mathematical & quantitative methods" previously versus "Technical methods" -- proposed successor to "Techniques" -- per above subsection), there is no "methods" section in the template currently.[2] The placement of Game theory & the presence (or not) of Optimization (mathematics) in the template were discussed at length earlier. These are fair topics for discussion. That's why they were discussed earlier. Bringing them up argumentatively in other distinct (sub)sections, such as this one, may garner support from some lacking the context of a fuller discussion, but I think that it may be prejudicial to an orderly consideration of distinct subjects (indicated by the (sub)section headings). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:25, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Thomas, I am the only person reading your disputations, which apparently uniformly satisfy yourself; when your disputations do not convince me, they do not always seem worth my time in replying: Review your treatment of Merriam Webster, for example.
We are both intelligent and quite capable of arguing ad infinitum to each other's counter-arguments. I have told you that I find your way of arguing eccentric (with the considerable charms of intelligent eccentricity), but your increasingly rigid insistence on playing by your own rules and your tallying pluses and minuses is increasingly an irritation.
I challenge you to locate one discussion like this on Wikipedia where your medieval scholasticism has worked---not driven other discussants bananas. I also challenge you to find one discussion on Wikipedia that has involved me where I have not given in to a good argument, or been over-ruled by the consensus of the editors. Given my record of behavior, your continued lecturing down to me about the principles and practices of rational discussion and fair debate seems rude and counter-productive.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 19:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
To avoid a now-moot digression, I am deleting my 18:03, 5 April 2011 edit here, which invited KW to revise the above. KW did revise but not as I thought would improve this section. -- TM 18:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
ABY? I made copy edits, also.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 23:33, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
KW, I am saddened that the above comes across as vent from the start (“I am the only person...”). I don’t believe that I’m especially, much less uniformly, self-satisfied as to my edits. I have tried to list (dis)advantages of proposed/existing template edits and their related arguments in a reasonable way. I see nothing peculiar or wrong with that, despite my fallibility.
Earlier discussions where there were unresolved differences in views are evidence that respective co-discussants have fended for themselves. I don’t believe I have “lectured down” to KW. The “medieval scholasticism” comment looks like a suggestion of guilt by association.
In case of disagreement, it is a sign of respect for another's argument to take it seriously enough to criticize. I don’t believe that that is rude. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Clarification

The JEL C category has subsections on the "methodology " of national accounts.

The economic substance of national accounts, which is discussed in the WP article, heads JEL E01.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 17:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) -- TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"Methods" section revision


Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

(B) Methods

Econometrics  · Experimental  · Game theory
Mathematical  · Optimization  · Statistics

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

(A) Technical methods

Mathematical · Econometrics
Experimental · National accounting

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

A recent Edit of the "Methods" section of the Econ sidebar included the following:

It is reproduced and labelled (B) on the far right.

A case can be made for each of these, but I'd like to propose what I believe is a stronger case for (A) on the near right:

1. changing the heading to "Technical methods"
2. dropping the last 4 changes above.

(1) and (2) results in (A) on the near right. Arguments in favor of (A) include these.

1T. (A) is narrower and more balanced as to unused white space in different sections.
2T. (B) includes the Statistics and Optimization (mathematics), neither of them an economics article, unlike all the other articles in the sidebar. The earnest reader linking to those articles from the Econ sidebar could reasonably ask, "What does this have to do with economics?" and not get much of an answer.
3T. Recent edits of Econometrics and Mathematical economics include the (2T) links, giving the (2T) subjects a context per WP:LEAD, further lessening the need for the (2T) links in the template.
4T. What is important from statistics in economics is already a part of econometrics, as textbook links in Econometrics#References in the early chapters (or appendices in some advanced textbooks) make clear.
5T. "Technical methods" is a more brief term than "Mathematical and quantitative methods," the template-heading link to JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories. "Technical methods" is attested by the 1987 The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject-Index classification term of "Techniques," which includes similar terms to the above JEL category link. "Methods" would invite mixing "technical" & "non-technical" methods (say Austrian economics or transaction cost methods), negating a useful analytical distinction "technical"/"non-technical", or unnecessarily invite the question "Why are all the articles in this section so technical?"
6T. National accounting is important (as the GDP-colored map in the sidebar suggests) and is included in the "Methods" link (that is, (B) Methods).
7T. The sequential order of (A) has the advantage of reflecting that Mathematical economics, which historically preceded Econometrics, joined math & econ. Econometrics adds stat to the math-econ union. Hence the ME-Metrics order on the 1st line. Experimental econ makes heavy use of econometrics (so reasonably follows it) & is micro-oriented. National accounting is macro oriented. That gives a micro-macro balance in the 2nd line, the same ordering as in the top section.
8T. The placement of Game theory in (A) is after Information economics in the sidebar, correctly suggesting that there is link between the 2 (as from games with Game theory#Perfect information and imperfect information) and before Industrial organization (where it is most frequently connected in principles of economics textbooks), lending it concreteness and context to placement. JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories placement [of "Game theory"] is here I believe less relevant than the WP:LEAD standard as to context. The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics subject classification places Industrial organization and Game theory under the more general category of Economic organization, which agrees with the placement in (A) [in going from the general to the concrete]. [21:00, 3 December 2010] [--12:08, 1 March 2011 (UTC)]
A little bit more on "Game theory" placement in (A) between "Information economics" and "Industrial organization":
• Lippman and McCall (2001}, "Information, Economics of," International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences uses about 50 percent of the Abstract to argue for the illuminating power in the formal link of information economics to game theory and its informal (that is, obvious, practical) link to industrial organization.
• As to Industrial organization, non-cooperative game theory has become the standard unifying method of analysis of firm strategic interactions in according to Jean Tirole in his (much-cited) The Theory of Industrial Organization (1988), p. 3. That is now so noted at the end of the Lead for the IO article. Part II, Strategic Interaction makes up more than half the book.
These 2 sources provide further analytical support for placement of "Game theory" in sidebar (A) above for WP:LEAD context. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:29, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I propose to allow a week for comments (if any) before making the above Edit to (A). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Editor Thomasmeeks rightly notes that my revisions broadly followed the JEL classification, both in terminology for the category (methods versus techniques) and in the inclusion of the major subdivisions, especially statistics and (statistical) econometrics (which JEL lists in two clusters, for time-series statistics and simultaneous equation models). JEL does not list "national accounting" as a method, nor does any alternative classification.
The mathematical methods — mathematics, game theory, optimization, statistics — are not economic methods, but are mathematical methods that are used in economics, as they are used in other special sciences. From Samuelson to Varian, many economists have nearly defined economic theory as the application of optimization theory to allocation problems: leading economists and the JEL trump WP traditions, insofar as WP inspires to reflect the most reliable sources. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 01:18, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I trust that no one will mistake vigorous discussion to sort through things for anything other than that. Let me continue to number for ease of reference in the order of points raised above.
9T. The most "general" categories in JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories are:
JEL: C0 - General
JEL: C00 - General
JEL: C01 - Econometrics
JEL: C02 - Mathematical Methods
There is no mention of Statistics there. That is consistent with (3T & 4T) above.
10T. All mentions of "Statistical" in same JEL link above are paired with Econometric Methods or a subcategory of Econometric (and Statistical) Methods, consistent with (4T). Econometric and Statistical Methods are so paired is consistent with Econometrics incorporating statistical methods. per (4T). (That is, textbook econometrics and the JEL are not too proud to acknowledge a statistical-methods foundation of econometrics.)
11T. In JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories, JEL: C82 - "Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data" corresponds to National accounting, though its exact wording is different. I don't believe that a semantic difference applied to the same category can bear much weight.
12T. The disputed Econ sidebar link implied by the (A) sidebar above is not "Economics as (constrained) optimization" (allocating scarce resource to unlimited wants) but Optimization (mathematics). So, the relevance of the latter, rather than the former in this section, is at issue. And that's the relevance of parsimonious and well-placed links for the general reader and WP:LEAD guidelines per (2T, 3T, & 4T) and (8T). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 04:15, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
In fact, the JEL lists "Econometric and Statistical Methods: General" first, listing statistical methods that are not restricted to econometrics, before listing the two areas of econometric statistics (time series and simultaneous equations, I noted previously).

JEL: C10 - General JEL: C11 - Bayesian analysis JEL: C12 - Hypothesis testing JEL: C13 - Estimation JEL: C14 - Semiparametric and nonparametric methods JEL: C15 - Statistical Simulation methods JEL: C16 - Statistical distributions JEL: C16 - Specific Distributions

JEL: C19 - Other
Second, few monitor templates. TM, would you please post a notice on the Wiki Project Economics, asking for third opinions. I posted an invitation for other comments on the talk page for the Wiki Project Economics. (09:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)) Thanks, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 11:21, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
13T. Well, IMO I have already met the first point above at (4T). Consultation of the textbook [links] at Econometrics confirms the point.
14T. Per (9T), "JEL: C0 - General" comes before "JEL: C1 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: General" (with classification guidelines for each at http://www.aeaweb.org/jel/guide/jel.php) and on its face is more general in not qualifying "general" as a descriptive section of JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories, unlike later groupings.
15T. This may be an ongoing discussion. Anyone may join it or post on Wikipedia:WikiProject Economics to that effect. On the latter, I am not so inclined now, but I'm not offended by the invitation.
On a personal note, I have tried to be guided by the principle of charity from philosophy in WP discussions to improve my understanding of a position with which I might disagree (initially at least), either to formulate my position better or to be persuaded by others. One reason for the length of this section might be that there are serious points that need(ed) to be worked through.
I cannot edit here for awhile, so no more huffing and puffing on this side (; ) till then. Have a good day, KW (and this page's "band of others" who are of course welcome to join the fun here). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:07, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Subsections

I am adding subsections to this discussion, to allow some of us to focus on a few key issues (amid many raised in TM's excellent & organized discussion). (I shall refactor some of the above discussions.) Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 09:21, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"Technical methods" versus "Methods" heading (in this template)

"5T. (1) ["Technical methods"] is a more brief term [than] the link of "Mathematical and quantitative methods [JEL: C Subcategories]" and attested by the 1987 The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics] subject classification of "Techniques," which includes similar terms to the JEL category. "Methods" would invite mixing "technical" & "non-technical" methods (say Austrian economics or transaction cost methods), negating a useful analytical distinction ["technical"/"non-technical"], or unnecessarily invite the question "Why are all the articles in this section so technical?" (TM)

5.1T. Per the query below & maintenance of continuity for the above (but at the risk of belaboring the above), "technical" in "Technical methods" of sidebar (A) above at Template talk:Economics sidebar#"Methods" section revision serves as a shortened alternative to "Mathematical and quantitative." It has the same warrant as "Techniques" in the The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index of "Techniques" at the end of The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics. The latter source includes (among others), the corresponding articles listed in sidebar A (that is, Mathematical economics, Econometrics, Experimental economics, and National accounting) & in the associated JEL: C Subcategories link above. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 17:51, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
5.2T. I don't believe that 'technical' is "wrong" in 'technical methods' as a grammatical modifier of 'methods' (whether "technical" or not), any more than 'Techniques' is "wrong" in the Subject Index of The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics per (5.1T) as a heading for corresponding articles there, which also appear under the "Technical methods" headings at sidebar (A) above. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:00, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "technical". Perhaps you mean "formal" or "mathematical"?
The answer is that like other fields, economics is increasingly mathematical. Students of economics who wish to qualify for (serious) doctoral study must study at least multivariate calculus, linear algebra, calculus-based probability, calculus-based statistics, and preferably additional courses in statistical methods/econometrics and in mathematics. A first-year student in a serious Ph.D. program studies a year of microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and mathematics for economists (nonlinear optimization theory, elementary topology, convex sets, fixed-point theory, and the simplest models of variational calculus/control/dynamic programming); some programs allow a history of economics substitution. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 16:55, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Per the first line of the preceding comment, my response is indented above. Thanks.
P.P.S. I simultaneously posted another reply in the following subsection. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 17:51, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
In that meaning, then "technical" is wrong. The phrase "mathematical and quantitative" is redundant, since mathematics includes qualitative phenomena (especially topology popular in economics, particurly fixed-point theory in combinatorial/algebraic topology and Morse theory in differential topology, but also partially ordered sets).
The (mis)definition of mathematics as the science of quantitative phenomena was, like dueling, widespread in Germany in the 1800s, when it was criticized as ignorant confusion by Charles Sanders Peirce. Pragmatically, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 18:14, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Per the preceding, I have responded at (5.2T) above to maintain continuity there. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:00, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Statistics/Optimization as "Methods" (in this template)

"2T. (B) includes the Statistics and Optimization (mathematics), neither of them an economics article, unlike all the other articles in the sidebar. The earnest reader linking to those articles from the Econ sidebar could reasonably ask, "What does this have to do with economics?" and not get much of an answer.
"3T. Recent edits of Econometrics and Mathematical economics include the (2T) links, giving the (2T) subjects a context per WP:LEAD, further lessening the need for the (2T) links in the template.
"4T. What is important from statistics in economics is already a part of econometrics, as textbook [links] in Econometrics#References in the early chapters (or appendices in some advanced textbooks) make clear." (TM)
Editor Thomasmeeks rightly notes that my revisions broadly followed the JEL classification, both in terminology for the category (methods versus techniques) and in the inclusion of the major subdivisions, especially statistics and (statistical) econometrics (which JEL lists in two clusters, for time-series statistics and simultaneous equation models). JEL does not list "national accounting" as a method, nor does any alternative classification.
The mathematical methods — mathematics, game theory, optimization, statistics — are not economic methods, but are mathematical methods that are used in economics, as they are used in other special sciences. From Samuelson to Varian, many economists have nearly defined economic theory as the application of optimization theory to allocation problems: leading economists and the JEL trump WP traditions, insofar as WP inspires to reflect the most reliable sources. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 01:18, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I trust that no one will mistake vigorous discussion to sort through things for anything other than that. Let me continue to number for ease of reference in the order of points raised above.
9T. The most "general" categories in JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories are:
JEL: C0 - General
JEL: C00 - General
JEL: C01 - Econometrics
JEL: C02 - Mathematical Methods
There is no mention of Statistics there. That is consistent with (3T & 4T) above.
10T. All mentions of "Statistical" in same JEL link above are paired with Econometric Methods or a subcategory of Econometric (and Statistical) Methods, consistent with (4T). Econometric and Statistical Methods are so paired is consistent with Econometrics incorporating statistical methods. per (4T). (That is, textbook econometrics and the JEL are not too proud to acknowledge a statistical-methods foundation of econometrics.)
11T. In JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories, JEL: C82 - "Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data" corresponds to National accounting, though its exact wording is different. I don't believe that a semantic difference applied to the same category can bear much weight.
12T. The disputed Econ sidebar link implied by the (A) sidebar above is not "Economics as (constrained) optimization" (allocating scarce resource to unlimited wants) but Optimization (mathematics). So, the relevance of the latter, rather than the former in this section, is at issue. And that's the relevance of parsimonious and well-placed links for the general reader and WP:LEAD guidelines per (2T, 3T, & 4T) and (8T). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 04:15, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
In fact, the JEL lists "Econometric and Statistical Methods: General" first, listing statistical methods that are not restricted to econometrics, before listing the two areas of econometric statistics (time series and simultaneous equations, I noted previously).

JEL: C10 - General JEL: C11 - Bayesian analysis JEL: C12 - Hypothesis testing JEL: C13 - Estimation JEL: C14 - Semiparametric and nonparametric methods JEL: C15 - Statistical Simulation methods JEL: C16 - Statistical distributions JEL: C16 - Specific Distributions

JEL: C19 - Other (KW)
13T. Well, IMO I have already met the first point above at (4T). Consultation of the textbook links at Econometrics#References confirms the point.
14T. Per (9T), "JEL: C0 - General" comes before "JEL: C1 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: General" (with classification guidelines for each at http://www.aeaweb.org/jel/guide/jel.php) and on its face is more general in not qualifying "general" as a descriptive section of JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories, unlike later groupings. (TM)
Wooldridge's undergraduate textbook is a counter-example to your claim, since Wooldridge explains statistical methods as appropriate for randomized experiments and (so-called) "econometric methods as appropriate for observational data" (shudder of horror). Another book you cite, by Pindyck and Rubinfield, exhibits the ecological regression fallacy in many, many chapters. Far from incorporating statistics, most econometric textbooks are incompetent and violate the main principles of the first 3 weeks of a course in statistics. Murray's book is much better (on statistics and economics), and I hope that it shall be reprinted: However, it wasn't listed.
TM may be right to suggest that microeconomics is increasing its concern for experimental design, following the embarrassments of Heckman-type analysis of observational data (PSID). However, macroeconomics is experimental, also: For discussions of experimentation and macroeconomics, see Wold's presidential address to the Econometric Society and see Morgenstern's essays. 13:06, 6 December 2010 (UTC) Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 17:00, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
15T. Let try to address the preceding. The relevant Wooldridge econometrics textbook discussion at p. 2 does not say that econometrics makes no use of statistics. Rather, he says there that "econometricians have borrowed from mathematical statisticians wherever possible," including the method of multiple regression, a mainstay for both groups. Wooldridge goes on to review and expand on those math stat methods in chapters 1-9 of the book. As to broad subjects, they might just as well have appeared in a math stat textbook. Nor does he say that econometricians don't use statistical methods for experimental purposes, for of course they do use such methods, including multiple regression. All of this is consistent with (9-10T) and (13-14T) above.
I knew that I would be in a bad mood if I looked at Wooldridge. Page 6: Wooldridge treats convenience samples as random samples. Page 13 (appropriately ill-fated numbering, numerologically), Wooldridge states (expressing wishful thinking volition or erroneous future tense) that "we will (sic.) eventually see that ... econometric methods can simulate a ceteris paribus experiment", which imho implies more than the possibility of monkeys typing Shakespeare, and strike me as not exemplifying the RSS/ISI code of ethics. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 18:39, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
15.1T. As to the Econometrics#References book, Robert S. Pindyck and Daniel L. Rubinfeld (P&R) (1976; 1998, 4th ed.), Econometric Methods and Economic Forecasts, McGraw-Hill, both authors are noted in econometrics.[3][4] Minimimizing (as distinct from lessening) the ecological inference problem is a relatively advanced subject.[5] It is an example of an aggregation problem in econometrics,[6] which P&S discuss in the more general context of model specification (such as choice of variables to include) and a way that potentially eliminates the problem, use of micro (non-aggregated) panel data over time. But, yes, in their numerical examples, P&S may have failed to warn readers of an ecological inference problem or what specifically could be done about it.
Not only do Pindyck and Rosenbeld fail to warn readers about ecological inference, but they commit the ecological inference fallacy many times, sometimes in examples from their published articles: I remember a fallacious regression of Michigan county politics and home-prices, if my memory is correct. It wouldn't be wrong to label such a regression only a heuristic, and then investigate whether it works or not, of course.
A fine treatment of ecological regression occurs in an early chapter in the Berkeley textbook Statistics (David Freedman and company), which I recommend. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 20:36, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
15.2T. As to the anti-most-introductory-econometrics-textbooks remarks above, I believe for the reasons noted above that such an opinion [or its opposite for that matter] should not have much weight as to inclusion of "Statistics" (or not) in the Econ sidebar, which is a focus of this section.
P.S. The reference to Herman Wold's presidential address to the Econometric Society above now appears in the Econometrics article with due credit there.
P.P.S. I simultaneously posted another reply in the previous subsection. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 17:51, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! Wold is increasingly recognized by Judea Pearl and others, and deserves recognition by others. It was very nice of you to credit this discussion! 18:22, 9 December 2010 (UTC)~

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

National accounting as methodology?

I propose removing national accounting from the methodology section. (Others may wish to remove it from this template entirely.) The template for economics ignores National accounting. National accounting is not a methodology for economics, any more than personal accounting, business accounting, public accounting, official statistics, etc., methodologies for economics. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 23:52, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

For the benefit of others, National accounting has already been removed from the template (by KW [7]).

Perhaps KW meant to propose removal of national accounting in the template section currently titled "Mathematical & scientific methods" if it returns in the future --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:44, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

On other points:

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"National accounting" versus "National accounts" as template-link label

A recent template edit changed the long-standing template link from "National accounting" to "National accounts" (with the same target link for both). The Edit summary referred to "per WP:least surprise". I believe that the quoted explanation is a misreading of the relevant WP guideline. The relevant link is Wikipedia:Redirect#Do not "fix" links to redirects that are not broken whose 1st paragraph reads:

Where PLA represents Principle of Least Astonishment -->
Shortcuts:
We follow the "principle of least astonishment"—after following a redirect, the reader's first question is likely to be: "hang on ... I wanted to read about this. Why has the link taken me to that?". Make it clear to the reader that they have arrived in the right place.

The close wording of "National accounts" & "National accounting" alone should make it clear to most readers that they are in the right place. The first paragraph of National accounts explicitly notes the relation of the two terms.

An advantage of "National accounting" (over "National accounts") as the link term in the Econ template is this: It suggests an applied counterpart to (private or non-National) accounting as a method of analysis. "Accounting" in the context of the national accounts (that is, as a method of analysis paralleling private accounting) is used in: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2008, 2nd Edition:

"national income" Abstract.
"national accounting, history of" Abstract.
"generational accounting," Abstract and uncorrected proof.
"green national accounting," Abstract.
"growth accounting" by Francesco Caselli. Abstract.
"level accounting" Abstract.
The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1987 "social accounting"

It should likewise be used in the Econ template, because 'National accounting' (as an Econ method) facilitates the practical implementation of National accounts for countries A, B, etc. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Placement of National accounting in "Methods" or "Fields & subfields" section of Template?

Obviously, national accounting is better placed next to macroeconomics growth, and development. Can you find one serious department that teaches national accounting as part of its core graduate sequences---usually micro, macro, math, and econometrics---or even as a methods course? In the world, a handful of statistics programs teach official statistics and include coursework on national accounting, but such topics are usually taught be employees of federal statistical agencies and forecasting firms.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (talk) 16:29, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
1T. Well, 'National accounting' is not obviously better "placed placed next to macroeconomics [in one section of the Template], growth, and development [in another section of the template]. Rather, it's physically impossible to do that in the current Economics sidebar, because they are in different sections.
2T. It would be better for "Macroeconomics" to place 'National accounting' closer to it (namely in the Template in the "methods" section) than next to Growth and Development. We need not look to graduate-course titles. National accounting is usually discussed at the beginning the macro section of Econ Principles textbooks. Placement in the Methods section would reflect that connection. Its placement there also works for Growth and Development, since it is a method that feeds into those subjects.
3T. National accounting' is simply the name of the methodology that 'National accounts' uses, as classified under in JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories at JEL: C8. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC) --22:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
RE 1T: True.
RE 2T: The JEL-classification distinguishes the methodology of national accounting from the economics of national accounting. The presently existing National accounts article is about the latter; indeed, national accounting doesn't exist on Wikipedia (although there is a re-direct to national accounts).  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 21:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
4T. Well, it's unnecessary to have 2 articles when one is sufficient to distinguish "national accounting" and "national accounts", per (3T) above [broken out from (2T) above]. "Economics of national accounting" might be good as an Econ principles textbook chapter title or subheading, but less good as an explanation of the difference between "national accounting" and "national accounts" IMO. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I have no strong objection to this movement, since the WP article on accounts does emphasize methodological aspects. However, the same arguments can be made for the methodology of almost any area of economics, which all use abstraction and economic principles. I would again urge returning optimization and game theory (particularly the latter) to its rightful position as a methodology (as noted in the JEL classification).  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 17:27, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
5T. Well, I am somewhat encouraged by the 1st sentence as to placement of National accounting in the template. As for the rest...
6T. Actually "Methodologies" was an earlier section title of the template, on which see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Economics_sidebar/Archive_1#Proposed_edit_stemming_from_.22Methodologies.22_section. I think by common consent, it unnecessarily removed useful analytical distinctions of subjects. I hope that the above Edit is not a prelude to inviting more such problems with a template section heading of "Methodologies" or a return to "Methods" (argued against above at Template talk:Economics sidebar#"Technical methods" versus "Methods" heading in this template)).
7T. With the current Econometrics section in the template (replacing the "Mathematical & quantitative methods" previously versus "Technical methods" -- proposed successor to "Techniques" -- per above subsection), there is no "methods" section in the template currently.[8] The placement of Game theory & the presence (or not) of Optimization (mathematics) in the template were discussed at length earlier. These are fair topics for discussion. That's why they were discussed earlier. Bringing them up argumentatively in other distinct (sub)sections, such as this one, may garner support from some lacking the context of a fuller discussion, but I think that it may be prejudicial to an orderly consideration of distinct subjects (indicated by the (sub)section headings). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:25, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Thomas, I am the only person reading your disputations, which apparently uniformly satisfy yourself; when your disputations do not convince me, they do not always seem worth my time in replying: Review your treatment of Merriam Webster, for example.
We are both intelligent and quite capable of arguing ad infinitum to each other's counter-arguments. I have told you that I find your way of arguing eccentric (with the considerable charms of intelligent eccentricity), but your increasingly rigid insistence on playing by your own rules and your tallying pluses and minuses is increasingly an irritation.
I challenge you to locate one discussion like this on Wikipedia where your medieval scholasticism has worked---not driven other discussants bananas. I also challenge you to find one discussion on Wikipedia that has involved me where I have not given in to a good argument, or been over-ruled by the consensus of the editors. Given my record of behavior, your continued lecturing down to me about the principles and practices of rational discussion and fair debate seems rude and counter-productive.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 19:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
To avoid a now-moot digression, I am deleting my 18:03, 5 April 2011 edit here, which invited KW to revise the above. KW did revise but not as I thought would improve this section. -- TM 18:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
ABY? I made copy edits, also.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 23:33, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
KW, I am saddened that the above comes across as vent from the start (“I am the only person...”). I don’t believe that I’m especially, much less uniformly, self-satisfied as to my edits. I have tried to list (dis)advantages of proposed/existing template edits and their related arguments in a reasonable way. I see nothing peculiar or wrong with that, despite my fallibility.
Earlier discussions where there were unresolved differences in views are evidence that respective co-discussants have fended for themselves. I don’t believe I have “lectured down” to KW. The “medieval scholasticism” comment looks like a suggestion of guilt by association.
In case of disagreement, it is a sign of respect for another's argument to take it seriously enough to criticize. I don’t believe that that is rude. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Clarification

The JEL C category has subsections on the "methodology " of national accounts.

The economic substance of national accounts, which is discussed in the WP article, heads JEL E01.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 17:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) -- TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

JEL

I quote from the JEL, for reference  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 04:50, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I'll note this overview:

  • categories C01--C05 represent statistics and (statistical) econometrics methods ,
  • category C06 represents mathematical optimization and dynamical systems,
  • category C07 represents game theory,
  • categories C08--C09 return to statistical science (data collection and processing, experiments)

Thanks,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 11:50, 11 April 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

JEL

JEL: C0 - General

JEL: C00 - General JEL: C01 - Econometrics JEL: C02 - Mathematical Methods

JEL: C1 - Econometric and Statistical Methods Theory: General

JEL: C10 - General JEL: C11 - Bayesian analysis JEL: C12 - Hypothesis testing JEL: C13 - Estimation JEL: C14 - Semiparametric and nonparametric methods JEL: C15 - Statistical Simulation methods JEL: C16 - Statistical distributions JEL: C16 - Specific Distributions JEL: C19 - Other

JEL: C2 - Econometric methods: Single equation models;Single variables

JEL: C20 - General JEL: C21 - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial models; Treatment effect models JEL: C22 - Time-Series Models JEL: C23 - Panel data JEL: C34 - Truncated and censored models JEL: C25 - Discrete regression; Qualitative choice models JEL: C29 - Other

JEL: C3 - Econometric Methods: Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models

JEL: C30 - General JEL: C31 - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment effect models JEL: C32 - Time-Series Models JEL: C33 - Models with Panel data JEL: C34 - Truncated and censored models JEL: C35 - Discrete regression and Qualitative choice models JEL: C39 - Other

JEL: C4 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics

JEL: C40 - General JEL: C41 - Duration analysis JEL: C42 - Survey methods JEL: C43 - Index numbers Aggregation JEL: C44 - Statistical decision theory; Operations research JEL: C45 - Neural Networks and Related Topics JEL: C46 - Specific Distributions JEL: C49 - Other

JEL: C5 - Econometric Modeling

JEL: C50 - General JEL: C51 - Model construction and estimation JEL: C52 - Model evaluation and testing JEL: C53 - Forecasting and Other Model Applications JEL: C59 - Other

JEL: C6 - Mathematical Methods and [Mathematical] Programming [Optimization]

JEL: C60 - General JEL: C61 - Optimization techniques; Programming models; Dynamic analysis JEL: C62 - Existence and stability conditions of equilibrium JEL: C63 - Computational techniques JEL: C65 - Miscellaneous Mathematical Tools JEL: C67 - Input–output models JEL: C68 - Computable General Equilibrium models JEL: C69 - Other

JEL: C7 - Game theory and Bargaining theory

JEL: C70 - General JEL: C71 - Cooperative games JEL: C72 - Noncooperative games JEL: C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic games; Evolutionary games; Repeated Games JEL: C78 - Bargaining theory; Matching theory JEL: C79 - Other

JEL: C8 - Data Collection and Data Estimation analysis (parameters are estimated with data. KW) Methodology ; Computer Programs

JEL: C80 - General JEL: C81 - Methodology for collecting, estimating analysis, and organizing microeconomic data JEL: C82 - Methodology for collecting, estimating analysis, and organizing macroeconomic data JEL: C87 - Econometric software JEL: C88 - Other Computer Software JEL: C89 - Other

JEL: C9 - Design of Experiments

Above JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories compacted & edited above as indicated to reflect terminology urged by Kiefer.Wolfowitz @ Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Economics#Request for feedback [now Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Economics#Request for feedback]. Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:12, 3 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Requested outside opinion

I requested outside opinions at the economics project. I believe that this talk page and the sidebar would not suffer from an increased focus on the most reliable sources, and imho a decrease in OR, POV, and Wiki-lawyering. Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 09:05, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

That sentence sounded rough. However, when talk pages no longer function, wiser and more experienced editors have noted that a cause may be a diversion from improving the article using reliable sources to original research (OR) or POV discussions, usually well intentioned and knowledgeable. Look at the problems of the Monty Hall problem, for example!
Of course, I am suggesting following the JEL (as "the canonical outline of economics"), so beware of my rhetoric! ;)  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:25, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, KW. As to the first sentence above, the corresponding link is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Economics#Economics sidebar: Game theory and Mathematical methods, to which I have added a comment.
It will come as no surprise to earlier readers that I have a different take from some of KW’s opinions above. Thanks. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 15:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Dear Thomas, I trust that your time-limitations reflect more fruitful activities rather than problems. I thank you for seconding my request for outside opinions, and correctly and concisely giving pointers to previous discussions. Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 15:30, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, and you're welcome, KW.
I hope that other potential discussants to (sub)sections above would take each of the primary issues there (reflected in heading titles) as distinct (though not necessarily unrelated), in considering how to resolve them. The aim in each case is of course to improve the Econ sidebar as to the issue at hand, not polarize by the above 2 discussants (nor to attempt to placate, or half-placate, them). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 12:52, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Thomas, do you think that I have tried to faithfully reflect the main topics of the JEL classification for "mathematical and quantitative methods"?  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Hello again, KW. I did not impugn your "faithful-reflection" intentions above (which of course matter). Still, your question is IMO unnecessary and digressive. I don’t wish to encourage more such. I'd also like to avoid opening up this section as a possible rabbit hole of distinct topics better discussed in respective (sub)sections, such as that mentioned before my signature below.
To avoid misunderstanding, the pejorative wp:wikilawyering, OR, and other suggestions mentioned at the top of this section against my edits elsewhere are not well supported IMO. I believe that their insinuation above is prejudicial to consideration of the main issue at Template talk:Economics sidebar#Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods". --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:27, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Thomas, RE: Wikilawywering: you have cited and continue to cite the Merriam-Webster dictionary. When I asked you to confirm the systematic connotation of "method" (versus "technique") you pleaded the fifth---or, rather, said that this was not an adversarial inquisition, blue linking some policy. IMHO, my question was fair and your non-response not (but rather was close to wikilawyering). RE:Original Research (OR), if you don't use the JEL classification, then you must engage in OR, which is not a good use of time, imho.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 14:58, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Repeating or elaborating in the preceding Edit what IMO are insubstantial or groundless points made elsewhere simply adds to the problem of KW's comments at the top. Repeating the new suggestion of wikilawyering in the preceding Edit documents a kind of tactic of innuendo. That is its principle value, aside from illustrating what I deprecated in my last paragraph above & my rabbit-hole caution in the preceding paragraph. --19:16, 25 May 2011 (UTC) [2nd to last sentence: 'documents' quotation marks corrected to italics. -- TM 23:59, 26 May 2011 (UTC)]
KW's previous Edit following my Edit above had this Edit summary: "hide comment that TM disliked, with invitation to delete off-topic thread to TM :)" hid selected earlier comments by each of the above from April 11 to May 25 in <!-- --> WP markup code, viewable only in the Edit box. Of course, it was not my disliking KW's Edits that was my concern but, per above, their IMO prejudicial effect regarding another section that I objected to. I decline with regret his invitation above on the hope that something can be learned on this page & elsewhere from the above exchange.
KW's concerns above were last discussed above on 13:26, 10 March 2011 at (19TT) [newly-added label with the present Edit] Template talk:Economics sidebar#Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods" before my Edit there yesterday at above. I believe that at least some of the frustration there may have a resulted from a failure to communicate, possibly mutual. I'll do what I can there to clarify & have already invited comment there to that end. If I find anything worth adding per KW's concerns, I will address them. I believe that that should assist other potential editors as well. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:59, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay. I am skeptical about the value of this exchange, though, and again invite you to delete this section.
We had at least 2 new voices at the Economics Project talk page, and I hope that if you have a problem with the "Mathematics & Statistics" rename, you can discuss it with the other two, who also liked it. Maybe they have greater fortitude and vision than this editor! Best regards,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 00:41, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I'm encouraged by your words, b/c it shows that you believe things got off track above. But identifying & preserving what went wrong are maybe the best ways of avoiding repetition elsewhere. I think that a do-over is appropriate on the process that led to "Mathematical & statistical methods". More on that elsewhere. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Economic data v. Economic statistics as template links

Data sets are neither a method nor a methodology. (The article on economic data is in terrible shape: It seemed to be an article about time-series econometrics.)

The statistical theory of the JEL is discussed under the "General" Subheading. I restored "Economic statistics", formerly abbreviated as "statistics".  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:48, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Well, I did try to untangle the first para. of Economic statistics. There's now just 1 ref. to 'data sets' there. Quite right, but the 2nd para. of "Economic statistics" is adapted from the one & only paragraph of ED. (Thx for editing that & elsewhere in ES.) Obviously a lot more can be done in ES. But is the marginal product of the rest of the article really negative? (If it is, maybe the offending parts could be edited out or moved to the Talk page, etc.) That's the only thing that I think would disqualify ES from the template, if either ES or ED is to be kept I think that's the operative question. P.S. I would appreciate your including the Solow quote & source for transparency elsewhere, even though I very skeptical that it would save your argument for moving ME. (The directness of your response was heartening in its own way.) Similarly on the alleged pejorative definition & source of technique/technical. I came up with nothing pejorative in my other 3 dictionaries. So, I'm still baffled, esp. with the scientic or practical meaning attached to 'technical'/'technique'. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:20, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
How about just removing 'Economic statistics' from the template. I don't see that it fits in as an economic methodology. LK (talk) 05:44, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I do agree with LK's suggestion. That would be one small but welcome step toward "JEL proportionate" as used below (reproduced above from Template talk:Economics sidebar#Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods"):
P.S. I do intend to visit Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Economics to register concerns on the above as to process & events leading up to it [that is, the template heading change to "Mathematical & statistical methods"] after addressing the question of "technical methods" section as "JEL proportionate" [2 lines]) vs. "fair synopsis of the JEL" [more than 2 lines], (mentioned above) in a subsequent subsection*. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:12, 30 July 2011 (Bolding added.)
* The "subsequent subsection" is still on my "to do" list.
Elsewhere (on Talk:Economic statistics), I have noted that a reader of "Macroeconomic Data," International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 9111–9117. Abstract & TOC above would correctly infer that from start to finish the article is filled with the methodology of national accounts, that is, national accounting. Of course, National accounting is already in the template. So removal of Econ stats (or KW's earlier selection of Economic data) (aiming toward "fair synopsis of the JEL" per the "technical methods" section of the sidebar) would remove some considerable overlap as to links. IMO the general reader would appreciate such succinctness in the section. I suspect that KW would agree to ES removal (since he has, putting it mildly, expressed elsewhere, per his "Oppose" comment there, no great affection for either ES or ED). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 11:54, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
P.S. It is conceivable but quite uncertain that, from my brief remarks above, consistently suggested elsewhere, KW would be prepared to explicate forcefully some or all of what I shall state more fully elsewhere on this page as necessary -- in particular as to removal of the links in the "technical methods" section (currently labelled "Math & stat methods") besides Econometrics, Experimental, National accounting, and, one hopes in the near future, the recently displaced Mathematical economics. The proposed links for removal include not only Economic statistics (per above) but also Mathematical optimization#Economics, Computational economics, and Game theory. Game theory is a special case.* For the 3 links before GT, a lot has happened in the interim to work them into the 4 proposed-remaining links. That makes their repetition in the template less urgent and facilitates the "JEL proportionate" [2 lines])" paradigm proposed above. Of course, the technical-methods section link of JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories gives added redundancy & IMO is the principle argument against the "fair synopsis of the JEL" [more than 2 lines] paradigm, earlier defended by KW.
* I hope that other interested editors would at least keep an open mind about placement of "Game theory" in the "Fields & subfields" section, as was the case for a long duration before KW's recent action. Such placement was explicitly defended on this page (now at Template talk:Economics sidebar/Archive 1#Proposed edit stemming from "Methodologies" section before placement under "Fields & subfields" (the very bottom of that section at "§ Digression: ..."). There were more active editors on this page then, none of them reluctant to raise objections, if my explanations did not satisfy (& to whom let me I here express appreciation at their forbearance -- oh, for those days to return). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:18, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Methods

"Mathematical and statistical methods" abbreviates "mathematical theories and methods and statistical theories and methods that are used in economics".

For example, there are optimization methods, but optimization is not a method.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 18:32, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Narrowed & broadened ranges of disagreement on "methods" part of this template

16T. It is possible that there is sufficient agreement to permit a stable Edit (in the short run at least) of the current sidebar to that of (A) above. In addition to extensive discussions above and elsewhere, there have been Edits by the above discussants in Mathematical economics, Econometrics, and Industrial organization that discuss and link to Statistical methods, Optimization (mathematics), and Game theory, progress in itself. Those Edits by themselves might warrant a more elegantly simple sidebar, namely (A). If that is so, I can only express thanks to my fellow discussant above for allowing it to happen. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 14:32, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I state no objections to slimming the methods section, by removing statistics and optimization and game theory, and haven't read any objections to those changes in the last week(s). However, the phrase "technical methods" (for "mathematical methods") and the inclusion of "national economic accounting" still seem objectionable, for reasons previously discussed: National accounting is usually discussed in the economic fields of macroeconomics and development and planning and also in accounting. Thanks, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 16:44, 15 December 2010 (UTC) [Italics added at end above per comment below. TM]
17T. Some clarifications. On the last part of the comment above (which I italicized above to avoid repeating it here), there was no such previous discussion on in an earlier subsection. (Suggesting otherwise could accidentally prejudice other readers.) There was an Edit summary for this subsection. That's not an "earlier discussion".
18T. I would only elaborate an earlier point here that "National accounts" or "National accounting" (the associated technique/method) is a valid classification under (not only Macro but) JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories (the Methods link of the template) at Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology... JEL: C80 - General (on Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology...) and JEL: C82 - Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data per http://www.aeaweb.org/jel/guide/jel_sub.php?class=C8 and for example here. --TM 12:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
The JEL master-category C82 "Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data," is about e.g. surveying business (see J.P. Lambert, "Disequilibrium macroeconomic models: Theory and estimation of rationing models using business survey data") and consumers (Michigan on consumers), using sampling for inference (Pudney and Angus Eaton and James Heckman, for example). (Note: The preceeding sentence is quoted from another part of this discussion). C82 is more about these living parts of statistical macroeconomics then about the technicalities of national income accounting. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 22:55, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
On which, see (22T) below. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:00, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for above, KW. "Working agreement" evidently overstates agreement (although areas of stated disagreement have apparently and happily narrowed). I hope that "Narrowed points of possible disagreement" offered as the header (replacing "Working agreement" above) as a more accurate description of this subsection is acceptable.
19T. I have 2 preliminary questions on the above.
(I) Is your proposed alternative to "Technical methods" "Mathematical methods" as a shortened form of JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories?
The latter link for "Technical methods" in the Econ sidebar per (11T) above includes:
JEL: C82 - "Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data," which corresponds to "National accounting", though its exact wording is different.
(II) Might it not be acceptable to include National accounting under "Technical methods", since it corresponds to JEL: C82?
P.S. I cannot reply soon. Thank you for your consideration. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:35, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

[Moved down the following from above to allow uninterrupted statement. --TM 12:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)]

Sorry for sounding opinionated: The cliché "and quantitative" is redundant. Now I think that "Mathematical sciences" is the better headline. Mathematical theories are not "methods"; no "methods" were listed or proposed. "Methodology" is better than "methods", but inferior to "mathematical sciences".
I would list: Mathematics, logic, computer science, and statistics as the methodologies (all being formal sciences).
The JEL "Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data," is about e.g. surveying business (see theses of Drèze's students) and consumers (Michigan on consumers), using sampling for inference (Pudney and Angus Eaton and Heckman, for example). Those STATISTICAL topics are highly interesting and important, I agree, and they are discussed by the mass media and public more than GDP.
Undue weight? Looking at economics journals and curricula , I judge that optimization and statistics (particularly randomized experiments and randomized samples) are mathematical methods of great importance, which are constantly used and discussed. Listing "national accounting" as a "method" while removing optimization, game theory, or statistics as methods seems to me to raise "undue weight concerns".
Thank you for your kind suggestions and queries. Best regards, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 20:02, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
20T. See (18T) above for clarification of the "National accounting" connection to JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories (the Methods link of the template), which the previous comment might suggest to some readers was lacking.
21T. The suggestion of "undue weight concerns" above for restoring the long-standing National accounting link IMO is unpersuasive. Still, may I here express thanks for KF's first comment above on "no [stated] objections to slimming the methods section, by removing statistics and optimization and game theory,..." --TM 12:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
The JEL C82 category "Methodology for collecting, estimating, and organizing macroeconomic data," is about e.g. surveying business (see Lambert's "Estimating macroeconomic models using survey data ....") and consumers (Michigan survey on consumer confidence), using sampling for inference (Pudney and Angus Eaton and Heckman, for example). The link to national accounting is just a small part of that category C82 --- I would guess that less than 5 percent of the articles with primary label C82 are concerned with national income accounting. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 23:34, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

22T. Well, yes:

  1. National accounting includes NIPA (the National income and product accounts), which relies on business surveys and uses statistical inference.
  2. Estimation of macroeconomic models may use survey data, whether from NIPA or not.
  3. Household-survey results on consumer confidence may be used to forecast consumption expenditures as generated by NIPA.
  4. National accounts is important enough to be properly classified under not just one, but two JEL codes, the first as methodology of National accounting JEL C82 (hardly a small part), and the second JEL E10 as "Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth."

I don't see that the points above are much of an argument against National accounting in the Econ sidebar. P.S. Happy holidays till whenever. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:00, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Alternate templates (A) & (C) added below (and (C) added to KF comment) below to facilitate comparison. TM 12:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

Mathematical & scientific methods

(C) Mathematical  · Computational
Econometrics  · Data  · Experimental

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

(A) Technical methods

Mathematical · Econometrics
Experimental · National accounting

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

Updates
. I made two three changes [to template (A) at template (C) on the right]:

(1) Renaming the section "mathematical & scientific methods" --- because (statistical) econometrics and data and experiments are not considered part of mathematics (apart from philosophical discussions noting the role of empiricism in mathematics). The accurate term "Methodology" is too long, and so "methods" must serve.
(2) Adding computational economics.
(3) Substituting Economic data, abbreviated as "data" for National accounting. 19:14, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Best regards, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 11:11, 16 December 2010 (UTC) ]

I have new comments above at (17-18T, 20-21T), which I would urge earlier readers to consult.
I hope that everyone reading this would like a principled-consensus outcome in this section (by appealing to WP:Policies and guidelines, not merely a truce to prepare for yet-another lengthy subsection, in the spirit of critical rationalism, and with the wiki reader the beneficiary and all editors contributing resolution of outstanding issues. Per above, "Update" comments will come soon but of a general sort intended or consensus-building in exploring what common ground there is. This is in contrast to the debate-like methods sometimes present on Talk pages, which may not always be pleasant for the casualties editors (OK, I may be speaking only for myself here). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 12:02, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Does anybody object to the inclusion of computational economics?
Does anybody rank National accounting as more important than Economic data?
Thanks! Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 23:06, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I believe that discussion of Updates above, which has not really begun, should come first. Others who have not commented may see it the same way.
Happy holidays for now. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:00, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

[Re-sectioning above and below to reflect change of issues under current discussion and allow locating added comments, if any, in respective subsections. --TM 18:50, 18 January 2011 (UTC)]

Time stamp added to prevent premature archiving. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC) --TM 11:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (D) various others

Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

Mathematical & quantitative methods

(D) Mathematical economics
Computational · Econometrics
Experimental · National accounting

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

(A) Technical methods

Mathematical · Econometrics
Experimental · National accounting

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

The following concerns templates (A) and (D) (to the right & as revised for (D) as to "methods"-heading line) to reflect current discussion). Points may be labelled below for ease of reference. --TM 22:55, 20 January 2011 (UTC) 15:50, 1 February 2011, 22:55, 7 February 2011

In the discussion below, template (D) headings considered included "Mathematical & scientific methods", "Mathematical methods", 6 others, "Methods", and finally "Mathematical & quantitative methods". -- TM 12:03, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Arguments for template heading (A) "Technical methods" over (D) "Mathematical & scientific methods" include these:

1T. "Technical" satisfies WP:VER. The cognate term 'technique' has a dictionary definition of that term that closely fits the present usage. In The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index there is a "Techniques" classification category that approximates JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories (the JEL-section link of the Methods section of the template) in including under it such subheadings as "Mathematical Economics," "Mathematical Methods," "Accounting, Private and Social," and "Econometrics" (below which are respective New Palgrave article listings). "Scientific" by contrast lacks such WP:VER attestation as a classificatory term in Econ (to my knowledge anyhow).
2T. While both are headings, "Technical methods" is shorter than "Mathematical & scientific methods", in line with WP:STYLE#Article titles, headings, and sections guideline and in relation to the "methods" section that follows (and other section lines that precede and follow it) and Strunk & White's advice ("Omit needless words"). "Mathematical & scientific methods" by contrast is also about a third longer than the next longest heading ("Fields and subfields") and conspicuously occupies most of the line space of the header.
3T. "Technical methods" as a heading is a general, hierarchical term that avoids repeating a more specific word below it (namely 'mathematical' in Mathematical economics).
4T. 'Scientific' in a relatively long heading may come across as a wordy WP invention (or worse, as though the "... methods" section needed to be propped up by the mantle of "science") compared to "Technical," which may come across as more appropriately parsimonious and understated. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:50, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Then let us use the heading "Mathematical methods" for brevity. You cite a source defining techniques in terms of methods. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 20:24, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
5T. Unlike "Technical methods," "Mathematical methods" unnecessarily conflates (that is, confuses) the useful analytical distinction of the "... methods"-heading template link, Mathematical and quantitative methods in the the JEL classification codes. Similarly, "Mathematical methods" conflates such useful broad classification terms under "Techniques" in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index as "Mathematical Economics," "Mathematical Methods" (sic), "Accounting, Private and Social," and "Econometrics" and is not well attested as to WP:VER compared to "Technical methods" as a classification term per (1T).
5.1T. Per (5T), "Mathematical methods" as a template heading also unnecessarily conflates the distinction between JEL: C01 - Econometrics and JEL: C02 - Mathematical Methods at JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories. "Technical methods" permits such a distinction.
5.2T. Per (5T) above, "Techniques" is the 6th of 10 primary categories in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index. It is simply a convenient label for such subcategories as as "Mathematical Economics," "Mathematical Methods" (sic), "Accounting, Private and Social," and "Econometrics". By the way, New Palgrave editor Peter Newman was an adept economic theorist[9] and editor of Readings in Mathematical Economics,[10] not likely a party to a put-down of mathematics, statistics, etc. via a Subject Index label. --TM 16:34, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
6T. "Mathematical methods" is also open to the objection of (3T) above. Thomasmeeks (talk) 02:55, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Mathematics is more general than "quantitative" methods. At least in its first edition, The New Palgrave was edited by specialists in the history of economic thought (e.g. Newman), whose Germanic economic-history biases confused their organization, unfortunately. The JEL is a better guide. Unfortunately, your favored noun, "techniques", has little favor outside of the New Palgrave, I'd wager. Also, "techniques" sounds to my (perhaps overly sensitive) ears as effectively a put-down of mathematics and the mathematical sciences more broadly (including statistics and operations research). Does anybody at the economics project agree with you on "techniques"?
Finally, I hope you remember that I agreed to your listing of mathematical economics as a method, against my better judgemetn. I also agreed to your purging of optimization theory and statistics and of mathematics. Those are methods, like "mathematics for economists" is a methodological course/textbook title; again, that is why there are texts like "optimization/statistics/mathematics for economicsts" but not "mathematical economics for economists". Mathematical economics is a substantive subdiscipline, at the core of economics in the last 60 years; It is not a method; mathematics is the method.
Best regards, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 05:46, 19 January 2011 (UTC) 23:18, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Correction of preceding Edit: Mathematics was never in the template. --TM 21:37, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
7T. There might be wide agreement that, however else it can be described, mathematical economics is an example of a method.[11] --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:34, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
The cited MW definition doesn't address mathematical economics. Your point is less clear than usual. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 16:49, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Per template-heading (A) "Technical methods" versus "Mathematical methods," my response to the preceding is at (5.1-2T) above. I believe that (5T-6T) above remain valid. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:34, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Thomas, would you try to get another opinion? Arguing back and forth does not seem like a productive use of out time, given my personality and perhaps given yours. We've resolved other matters quickly, with my giving in on most counts. Would you ask somebody active in econometrics or math economics, please? Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 17:01, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
8T. It is indeed a sad outcome. I don't believe that most informed readers prepared to work through the earlier discussions on your revisions would accept that the "giving in" was unwarranted. In each such case, other revisions accompanied them, IMO also problematic. KW, I don't even know that you currently endorse "Mathematical methods." I think I've provided good reasons for the alternative.
9T. We haven't even gotten to the content of the "... methods" section yet. Anyone is free to weigh in on the section heading title in the meanwhile. Why not let that happen first? Of course wp:canvassing to influence the outcome is unacceptable. (Note: (7.1T) & a comment above (7T) were also added above.) --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:37, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

9.1T. May I make a point that might be easy to overlook in the haystack of discussion above. Per (7.1T & 7.2T) (5.1T & 5.2T) above, 2 authoritative non-WP sources have higher-level category labels that include "mathematical methods" as a lower-level sub-category label. "Technical methods" as a WP:VER higher-level category label would avoid suggesting the substance of such a lower-level descriptive term. Thank you for your patience in my attempt to get to the point. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:03, 22 January 2011 (UTC) [Para. label +ed & strikeout correction. --TM 13:11, 8 October 2011 (UTC)]

The above discussion may have gone on long enough to explore the respective proposed template-heading alternatives. But if there points important enough to address anew or from above,, that's fine too.
Now might be an appropriate occasion to mention that I don't particularly like "Technical methods" as a heading. For one thing, it might come across as too "shallow" in comparison with the elegant simplicity of say "Mathematical methods". But the latter has its own problems (noted above), and I think that a possible "shallowness" charge could be rebutted.
In any case if anyone would intend to revert a "Technical methods" Edit or to replace it with still another heading, I think it would be better for the process in this subsection to indicate that as a matter of courtesy if nothing else and possible further discussion. Life goes on no matter. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:17, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't like "technical methods" because swirling a boiling pot to provide convection poaching LaTeX-programming (of an economic article) is a technical method.
I would prefer any of these (and I embolden my favorites):
  • Mathematical & statistical methods
  • Mathematical and statistical methods
  • Mathematics & statistics
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Mathematical & scientific methods
  • Mathematical and scientific methods
  • Mathematical sciences
  • Mathematical methods (where mathematical abbreviates "mathematical sciences", especially statistics and scientific computingcomputer science)
  • Scientific methods
I believe that most (widely adopted) textbooks on the principles of economics discuss the scientific method in their first chapter. I believe that Samuelson & Baumol/Blinder did, when I was a wee laddie. Thus, adopting such a terminology would merely reflect the great consensus of the reliable profession (while not the consensus of economists, because of small minorities, who are hostile to their misunderstanding/ignorance of science). Sincerely, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 22:20, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
10T. Well, context matters. "Technical methods" could relate to LaTeX-programming but not in an Econ template.
11T. "Statistics" or "statistical" per above as a newly-proposed header term for the "... methods" section of the Econ template does not well translate the Mathematical and quantitative methods heading in the the JEL classification codes.
11.1T. Rather, unlike "Technical methods," "statistics" or "statistical" conflates "econometrics" and "statistical methods" in that JEL link and those same categories in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index. Why conflate the 2 terms when those 2 WP:VER sources do not?
11.2T. Similarly, JEL: C9 (Experimental economics in the template), is not a sub-category of Statistical methods nor is it so in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index. Of course, Experimental economics uses statistical methods as an input, but it's unnecessary to jumble the 2 fields in the way that a "statistical" heading would.
12T. For the benefit of other readers, the Edit above reintroduces "scientific" or "science" as a proposed header term for the "... methods" section of the Econ template. I have discussed the problems of "Mathematical & scientific methods" earlier at (1T-4T), which prompted KW to replace it with "Mathematical methods" in the current template, as Template D above.[12] The previous Edit has not met the burden of (1T-4T) IMO.
13T. The subject of this section is of course the choice of Econ-template headings. I don't see how discussion of scientific method in a principles textbook warrants a non-WP:VER-attested heading, a very dissimilar case. "Scientific methods" has the added problem of violating WP:MOSLINK#Link clarity in that no such term appears in JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories. At least "techniques" appears there and as a similar general category in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index. Fortunately, according to the dictionary, 'technical' includes 'scientific'.[13] Introducing "science" or "scientific" in the heading invites a WP:VER problem rather than avoiding one as does "Technical methods".
14T. To summarize, the relevant consensus for heading terminology per is from 2 Econ classification-term sources that do not use term the term 'scientific' or otherwise scramble fields that are usefully distinguished. For that reason I don't believe any of the alternatives in the previous Edit is an improvement over the brief & appropriately-general "Technical methods". Thanks. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:24, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Can we just call that section "METHODS" without qualifications? Kiefer.Wolfowitz 22:14, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it, we both would accept the JEL heading "Mathematical and quantitative methods", but it is too long for the sidebar. Is that correct? Mathematical and quantitative methods Kiefer.Wolfowitz 22:17, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Hello, KW. In response to 22:17 above, yes. Of course, "Mathematical & quantitative methods" would be a slight improvement on that but still not reverse the usual relation of the heading significantly shorter than the section below it & its length compared to the other headings. I hope that more could be said here in the way of dialogue, but I'm not pressing my luck by doing so now.§ I do think that your two most recent Template Edits as of this writing are in the right direction. § On the other short Edit above the last, that I'm sure that you are aware of my earlier response in the subsection you created at Template talk:Economics sidebar#"Technical methods" versus "Methods" heading (in this template) on Dec. 5 2010 (!)). It has not changed. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 03:02, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I am glad that we have consensus on content, that "Mathematical & quantitative methods" would be an improvement. I implemented the change. We have disagreement on your suggestion to use "technical methods", which I regard as at best synthesis and which I have argued is non-standard and which would be linked to the (then) surprising M&Q Methods.
Regarding "Q&M M". You are concerned about length and visual style, and I dislike the redundancy and anachronistic Teutonic error of "and quantitative" (but I recognize that error is widespread in social studies). Is that a fair summary?  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (talk) 14:12, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's a fair summary of the discussion to date and of your latest elaboration, KW. I have revised Template (D) and the corresponding heading above to reflect recent changes. I have also changed (A) under the methods section from "Mathematical" to Mathematical economics" as in the revised (D), for a somewhat wider sidebar to concentrate on sidebar width differences due to the headings-width differences rather than from the methods centered section-line differences. (In this, the discussant diffs are also narrowed.) The current (D) "Mathematical & quantitative methods" is an improvement IMO (even with all the reservations I have and shall also elaborate on somewhat§ and saves a lot of unnecessary words. Frankly, I think it's the best of the alternatives to (A) (though it would be imprudent to solicit agreement of both discussants on that here). Thanks.
§ In no sooner than a day or two. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 15:50, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, we have a workable compromise on the title.
About the contents, the article on economic data is short and dull, so I suppose national accounting can substitute for it, if it makes you happy. I'd argue that "computational economics" is more important than national income accounting, and I hope that you would try to keep the former if you decide to include the latter.
Best regards,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (talk) 16:23, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
15T. Economic data is an input for the other methods in that section, not a method itself. I have worked ED links + related discussion into other articles in the methods section (and vice versa). Those considerations by themselves, irrespective of the ED's alleged dullness, are I think sufficient reason for removing ED from the template, in the interest of keeping the "methods" section pleasingly parsimonious.
16T. We may have a workable provisional title of the "methods" heading, which I think can still be improved upon IMO. So, I'd like to pursue discussion of the current subsection heading (later).
17T. For Talk page discussion transparency and for distinguishing the issues of (1) the heading of "methods" template section and (2) the article links in the methods section that follows, I'd prefer to defer the latter to a later subsection, perhaps after new subsection to come on the respective headings (A) "Technical methods" & (B) "Mathematical & quantitative methods", a corresponding division at subsections 10.2 & 10.3 above, may I note, that KW helpfully introduced earlier. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC) (Last line clarified. --TM 17:09, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Remove ED if you like.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 23:22, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods"

(E) Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

Mathematical & quantitative methods

Mathematical economics  · Game theory
Optimization · Computational
Econometrics  · Experimental
Statistics · National accounting

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

(A) Economics
GDP PPP Per Capita IMF 2008.svg
General categories

Microeconomics · Macroeconomics
History of economic thought
Methodology · Heterodox approaches

Technical methods

Mathematical · Econometrics
Experimental · National accounting

Fields and subfields

Behavioral · Cultural · Evolutionary
Growth · Development · History
International · Economic systems
Monetary and Financial economics
Public and Welfare economics
Health · Education · Welfare
Population · Labour · Managerial
Business · Information · Game theory
Industrial organization · Law
Agricultural · Natural resource
Environmental · Ecological
Urban · Rural · Regional · Geography

0T. By way of background, the preceding subsection discussed 9 alternatives to "Technical methods" as the heading of the "methods" section of the Econ template. The last of these was "Mathematical & quantitative methods" ("M&QM"), proposed by one discussant there as a more consensus alternative to "Technical methods" . The other discussant accepted M&QM as a provisional heading and suggested that there is a still-better case to be made for "Technical methods" over "M&QM".

Per templates (A) and (E) to the right, arguments for the heading "Technical methods" in (A) over "Mathematical & quantitative methods" in (E) include these:

1T. "Mathematical & quantitative methods" is about twice as long as the other headings and "Technical methods," going against a WP:STYLE#Article titles, headings, and sections guideline ("Neither too narrow nor too broad"). This is esp. relevant for a heading and a template across multiple WP articles, making the problem cumulative.

2T. Per (1T), "Mathematical & quantitative methods" creates unnecessary white space in the section that follows it and in other sections, also esp. relevant for a template across different pages.

3T. "Technical methods" as a heading is a general, hierarchical term that avoids repeating a more specific word below it (namely 'mathematical' in Mathematical economics). Why repeat a term that is used to (help) distinguish other terms (relatively, not absolutely of course) below it?

4T. "Technical methods" may come across as more appropriately parsimonious and understated than "Mathematical & quantitative methods", which may come across as wordy, intended to impress by length and number of words rather than simply to introduce a section. "Mathematical & quantitative methods" is fine for the JEL classification codes primary category name but arguably less so for the Econ template. (I hasten to add that no earlier current discussant on this matter has any such intent. But appearances can matter as much as intent.)

5T. 'Technical' has 2 [Merriam-Webster] Dictionary definitions --(2b) ["relating to ... a practical subject organized on scientific principles"] and (4) here -- that closely fit the present application. [(4) is an adjective] cognate of 'technique', which itself has particularly suitable definition, (2a) here: ["a body of technical methods (as in a craft or in scientific research."] Bracketed definitions added. -- TM 19:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

5.1T. The linked definitions above (now quoted for convenience) include 'scientific principles' & 'scientific research' in them. KW in the previous subsection (Template talk:Economics sidebar#Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (D) various others) just above 11T there) favored "Mathematical & scientific methods" and "Scientific methods" over "Technical methods". The definitions cited & the arguments against "Scientific methods" noted at (1T-4T, 13T) of that subsection IMO dissolve one argument against the acceptability of "Technical methods", at least of anyone who might have favored "Mathematical & scientific methods" over "Technical methods". -- TM Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

6T. In The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index, there is a "Techniques" classification category that approximates JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories (the JEL-section link of the Methods section of the template) in including under it such subheadings as "Mathematical Economics," "Mathematical Methods," "Accounting, Private and Social," and "Econometrics" (below which are respective New Palgrave article listings). So, compared to "Technical methods", "Mathematical and quantitative methods" may again come across as going against the WP:STYLE#Article titles, headings, and sections guideline ("Neither too narrow nor too broad"). Big, unnecessary heading words are likely discourage interest in the Template links IMO. P.S. Against much earlier experience, I still hope for mutual agreement. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:21, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi Thomas. You may remove the redundant "and quantitative" to reduce the length. You could also just use econometrics, which includes mathematical economics and statistics (experimental, simultaneous equations, time series), presuming that the Econometric Society's magisterium hold good.
Your manner of numbered and lettered points distracts me and threatens to exhaust me, as I may have hinted before. Reading all your text may be difficult for others, also. As an experiment, could we try to write simply, following the examples of other discussions on Wikipedia?
I would prefer that Wikipedia have a third person interested in this topic, who would add a fresh voice.
Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (talk) 12:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


Thomas, you seem to prefer the New Palgrave (which is like the Borges categorization quoted in Foucault's Les Mots et les choses) over the JEL categorization or the Handbook of Economics categorization: (Before you misplaced game theory following New Palgrave.) Which do you think WP policy prefers as most reputable and reliable? (I prefer the latter two.)
Do you deny that I can find a definition of "technical" or "technique" explicating its derogatory connotation---particularly, if you are willing to conduct a Paypal Ramsey test! If you don't want to put up cash for a Ramsey test, then you may understand why I don't bother performing dueling dictionaries. We both have better things to do, even on WP. For example, please look at Shapley-Folkman lemma!
Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (talk) 16:43, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
In fact, the New Palgrave has long abandoned its defective system, replacing it with the JEL classification codes. See below.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 21:13, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Hello, KW. Since this section is not only for the above discussants, I shall address remarks below to a wider audience.
I have added (0T) at the top of this subsection as a general-background paragraph.
7T. I urge that KW's responses above be considered in light of (1T-6T) before them and the issue of this subsection (Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods").
8T. To put KW's complaints disparaging my editing into context as to this sub-section, readers may refer to earlier related (sub-)sections (the immediately preceding for example). I do try to write as simply as discussion allows. And, as precisely, orderly, and transparently. (I'm obviously far from without blemish of course.)
9T. Arguments (by me) against "Mathematical methods" as a heading are at (3T) above and in detail at Template talk:Economics sidebar#Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (D) various others (the preceding subsection) as (5T). So, KW's advice above of my changing the heading to "Mathematical methods" is not to be taken seriously. Let me add to earlier points here. Per (4T & 6T) above, the bolded term in "Mathematical & quantitative methods" is not redundant, either in the JEL Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories nor in the "methods" heading. Rather it helps to distinguish (to some degree) other methods-section links that do not have the term 'mathematical' in them (for example experimental methods, which may use mathematical methods as an input but would not be described as a "mathematical method" in Econ). Why mix up those distinctions when 'Technical methods' allows one to avoid them, reduces template width, and saves about half of the heading text (per (1T) above)?
10T. 'Econometrics' or 'Econometric methods' or 'Mathematical & econometric methods' or 'Econometric & mathematical methods' as the template heading is farther from both the JEL 'Mathematical & quantitative methods' term and The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics Subject Index-related 'Technical methods', which have other categories besides "Mathematical" & "Econometric" methods. "Econometric methods" is not a super-category of Math econ or Math methods in econ. according the JEL sub-categories and the New Palgrave. Similarly (as per 8T), econometric methods is an input of experimental economics, not a super-category of it. "Quantitative methods" describes experimental economics and national accounting in a way that "Math methods" and/or "Econometric methods" as inputs (at most) does not. So, the alleged magisterium of the Econometric Society, etc. are irrelevant to this Econ template heading.
11T. (1T) above refers to a relevant WP guideline. As to WP:RELIABLE guidelines: "The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made and is the best such source for that context." (2nd para.) Discussed there are articles, not templates. But in this case, the guideline is at least suggestive. One context here is finding a shorter template heading than 'M&QM', consistent with (1T) above.
12T. The use of the JEL codes for the Subject Index of the 2nd ed. of New Palgrave (20+ years later) is irrelevant to the use of "Technical methods" as a WP:VER source for a heading of the Econ template per (1T & 6T) above.
13T. Game theory is one paradigm way of representing an aspect of economic organization in an economy. "Economic Organization" is 1 of 10 primary categories in the 1987 New Palgrave Subject Index. Maybe that's why Game theory in the Subject Index there is classified as to the following 2nd-level categories of Economic Organization:
economic organization, transaction cost, industrial organization, monopoly & oligopoly, conflict & war, game theory, risk & uncertainty.
Many articles were classified under these in turn. Yes, game theory in the Subject Index could have been placed elsewhere, but I don't think it's necessarily wrong to place Game theory by applied content in Econ, instead of just another as mathematical method. I doubt that many economists would have a big problem with its placement there either. Game theory placement in the Econ template was also discussed in late 2008 at Template talk:Economics sidebar/Archive 1 (via ctrl-F search of 'game theory') before its placement under "Fields & subfields" and more recently at Template talk:Economics sidebar#"Methods" section revision (at (8T) and following). Game-theory placement is in any case distinct from the subject of this subsection.
14T. I could not find a derogatory definition of technique/technical in for example the online version of Oxford English Dictionary (available through perhaps many university libraries) or related New Oxford American Dictionary (which many bookstore chains might have and which has definitions similar to Merriam-Webster cited at 5T above). To suggest that New Palgrave was negligent in so selecting "Techniques" as a primary heading is IMO preposterous.
15T. The Preface to The New Palgrave (2008), [v. 1], p. ix, has this statement by the editors:
[Since the 1st New Palgrave edition in 1987, econ] has grown enormously in analytical sophistication and technical sophistication....
IMO, 'technical' is no more objectionable in the Econ template heading than it is there.
16T. On welcoming new commenters here, there is of course already a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Economics#Economics sidebar from 5 December 2010 (!). That's a source likely to draw from those with not only an interest but a background in the subject. If someone had jumped into the discussion then, in retrospect it might have seemed premature from the many alternatives proposed and abandoned since. I of course do not discourage comments from anyone with a background in Econ willing to weigh the arguments made in this sub-section with an open mind and to contribute accordingly.
P.S. For the sake of completeness, I did leave suggestions on the Shapley-Folkman lemma at the bottom of my Talk page about 2 days after KW's request for comment there & 3 weeks before his comments above. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 00:20, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I apologized to Thomas for neglecting his helpful comments on his talk page. However, I was also negligient in not correcting the above remarks, which he rightly notes are unfair (or not "complete" in his characteristically nice manner).  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 00:29, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not going to condescend to discuss this with you, if you don't understand that "method" connotes systematic knowledge more than does "technique"; this is clear if you try to read Merriam Webster, for example, or if you are an educated English speaker.
You are engaging in OR, and not recognizing the authority of the JEL. If you had the misfortune of studying at the New School, I could understand your fascination with "national accounting" (sic) as a "technique". In WP, the methodological topics are discussed in official statistics more than in national accounts, but I've said this before.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 02:31, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
"RE:Original Research (OR), if you don't use the JEL classification, then you must engage in OR, which is not a good use of time, imho. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 14:58, 22 May 2011" Quotation of KW added from below on this page for elucidative purpose. --TM 19:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
17T. Applicable definitions of 'technical' and 'technique' noted at (5T) and similar usages of 'Techniques' in The New Palgrave Subject Index noted at (6T) and of 'technical' at (15T) are supportive of WP:VER per 'Technical methods' as a template heading, and support, rather than violate, WP:OR as well as supporting WP:RELIABLE guidelines per (11T). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:09, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
17.1T. A secondary point. KW's suggestion that "Technical methods" violates WP:OR as a sidebar heading compared with the heading "Mathematical & quantitative methods" is JEL-inconsistent with his own advocacy of "Mathematical methods" above & his replacing "Mathematical & quantitative methods" later with "Mathematical & statistical methods" (sic). -- TM 16:38, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Thomas, please address the issue. A source you previously cited, Merriam-Webster, gives definitions of "method" and "technique", in which the definition of "method" stresses systematic knowledge more. Is this true or false?  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 17:33, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I commend KW's including an Edit summary for his latest Edit and request that he consider doing so for future such Edits (to indicate an ongoing exchange).
18T. The "issue" of this section is (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods" as a template heading. I decline to answer KW's question, because it is not directly related to the issue of this section. Of course, KW may try formulating an argument based on where he thinks an answer to his question would lead. There might be agreement that this discussion page is not a venue for cross examination.
19T. IMO no weight should be attached to statements such as the above that do not constitute an explicit argument for a position advocated. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 03:47, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
On my laptop, I cannot see beyond the end of your enormous (in the sense of monstrous, per Strunk & White) subsection headlines. Again, write more simply than a Swedish bureaucrat (of which I have enough in everyday).
The headings differ with the words "methods" and "techniques", which you previously discussed until the page was blue in my face (with your hyper-linking). You previously cited Merriam Webster. Now you are going to pack up your marbles and go home, without answering a simple question?
[KW 04:05, 7 March 2011]
[(19TT)] I did answer the "simple question" above — at (19T) [& (18T)]. [As supplemented. --TM 23:59, 26 May 2011 (UTC)]

20T et seq.

20T. On my writing, new readers may refer to (8T). I believe that my comments above make a constructive case for (A) "Technical methods", even if that includes meeting KW's points as they arise. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:26, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
21T. Let me note here that arguments above do not mean that "Mathematical and quantitative methods" as a template heading is "wrong". One could maintain for example that the heading should repeat the JEL heading, even if it does unbalance the heading length & violate a heading guideline and even if it is ponderous and unnecessary (in that wp:lead & template context). But "Technical methods" may be more persuasive on balance, based on the counter-arguments above.
22T. An additional argument against the 'Mathematical' portion of "Mathematical and quantitative methods" is its ambiguity. Within mathematical economics a "mathematical method" may refer to relevant higher-level methods in math (beyond geometry), like matrix algebra. That’s how the term is used in Chiang (2005), Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics (per fn. 1 of Mathematical economics) and The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of EconomicsSubject Index for example. The heading of "Mathematical & ... methods" misleadingly suggests that Math econ itself is one of the "mathematical methods", rather than a user of such methods. "Technical methods" as a heading avoids that misleading suggestion.
Obviously mathematical economics is not a method. Mathematical economics is the use of mathematics in economics, and so it should be the first category in economics, above even micro and macro, as mathematics should be the first category in every special science.
Alas, the JEL puts mathematical economics under "quantitative and statistical/econometric methods", an error whose correction would NOT be OR but follow common sense observations, e.g. by Solow that mathematical economics is at the core of economics. However, if we have consensus that mathematical economics should go along with (or above) micro and macro, then go ahead and correct the error.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 23:33, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
So moved. Mathematical economics is on top. This is not OR, but follows Solow.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 23:39, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
22TT. Put more strongly, the heading should not strongly suggest a misconception. If further evidence is needed, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2008) classifies Debreu's superb "Math econ" article under Econ Methodology (v. 8, p. 857, B4), not under M&QM.[14] That's hard to explain if "Math econ" is well described as a "Math method". As a corollary to (17T) on KW's WP:OR charge, any heading that encourages bad math-econ diction (like "Math ... methods") can't be right, & one that avoids such (like "Tech methods") may be right. -- TM 23:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
23T. [KW discontinued further Edits above in favor of the new section he opened below at Template talk:Economics sidebar#JEL less than an hour later.] Contrary to what the "JEL" heading there might suggest (that is, something consistent with the JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories), the subsection proposal below that now archived at "Template talk:Economics sidebar#Proposal to replace "Mathematical & quantitative methods" section with "Econometrics" section" (now archived here) moves farther away from the JEL distinctions between econometric and non-econometric methods (all those that lack 'Econometric' as a JEL-heading classification term there) by subordinating previous links under the "Mathematical and quantitative methods" heading to follow under the Econometrics heading (whether they fit or not). Most of the previous contents below that new heading ((Mathematical economics, Experimental economics, and National accounting) are not classified under "Econometric methods" in JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories. That's a strong argument for dropping "Econometrics" as a heading in favor of (A) or (E) above, not for dropping Experimental economics and National accounting or for making Math econ a subfield of Econometrics. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:34, 22 March 2011 (UTC) [-- per Edit below.]
Please remove the speculative personal-attack (or questioning of my good faith in your 23T), which is far beneath you. I have better things to do than to respond to your monologues, which do not invite others to participate. If you want to follow the JEL and move Game theory up, then I might read beyond your third sentence.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 01:42, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Regrets for what offended KW in (23T) above. I did replace the 1st 3 sentences there with a new sentence in [brackets] & made small edits thereafter for clarity.
In retrospect I can see why KW might object. Still, my expressed belief about his motivation (as to ceasing edits above) did not impugn his motivation. Similarly as to good faith. More later. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:56, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

The JEL uses "econometrics" narrowly, for a subset of statistical topics. On the other hand, the Econometric Society defined its purpose to be the advancing of economics by interaction with mathematics and statistics: It is this traditional use of econometrics which motivates the use of the "Econometrics" as a heading. If you wish to follow the JEL, let's move game theory up and restore mathematical optimization to this section. (You objected before, so I assume this is not an option for you.) If you wish to follow the ~Econometric Society, then you should try to work with the present heading; please try to work with it as a good faith experiment, okay? Thanks,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 20:15, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

24T.The above does not meet the objection at (10T). Game theory placement (per 13T) is a separate question from the issue of this section. "If you wish to follow the ~Econometric Society,..." is question begging in the present context. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:10, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

25T. Besides the advantages argued for above, "Technical methods" is simpler and less formal-sounding than "Mathematical and quantitative methods". Most readers, including most general readers, are likely to appreciate such conciseness in a section heading. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:08, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

26T. A lesser point here compared to the above but perhaps worth mentioning. While I myself made the case for the & in "Mathematical & quantitative methods" in the interest of brevity, I'd point out that the & contrasts unfavorably with the next heading, which spells out "and". Not decisive, but "Technical methods" avoids that non-parallelism.

I hope that the interval from the previous Edit would have allowed any unfortunate vibes accompanying discussion above to dissipate somewhat & encourage fresh consideration. Of course, the point as always is to improve the template, not "win". Early agreement would doubtless have been the best outcome. Failing that, however, extended "vote"-free reflection at least affords the possibility of further consideration.

Elsewhere I have expressed other points of concern as to recent template Edits besides that of heading (A) or (E) above, but obviously this is not a very good place to discuss them (despite my responding to one such above per placement of game theory). I do think that it is reasonable to distinguish any decisions here as to the heading from other issues more conveniently dealt with elsewhere. Thanks. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:59, 14 May 2011 (UTC) Minor proof-reading delete of word. --TM 19:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for updating the templates, to focus discussion.
A break from our discussion no doubt was helpful. At least to me. An impartial observer can judge that we both have tried to discuss things rather fairly for some time, imho, with my patience ending sooner than yours ..., to your credit and to my debt.
CRGreathouse commented on the principle of trying to follow the spirit of the JEL classification, at the discussion page of the WikiProject Economics. Does that seem to be a reasonable goal? (I asked below if you judged my last effort a fair synopsis of the JEL, btw.)
Best and sincere regards,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:18, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
On "An impartial observer can judge..." above, too low a standard, I'm afraid (whether either of the above are necessarily satisfying even it). Still, I believe that a potential careful editor might reasonably weigh the competing comments above. That matters.
"Does that seem to be a reasonable goal?" above is IMO an unproductive and leading question as to the subject of this subsection (indicated in the heading). I'll try to start a new (sub)section in due course (not necessarily soon) that I hope would more precisely frame possible substantive questions outside the drawbacks of the section mentioned by KW. P.S. I have added a KW quotation from elsewhere before (17T) above (which KW can delete or replace) to allow continuation of a WP:OR discussion thread there, if either of us have anything further to add. IMO that's better than scattering discussion on the same subject over this subsection. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I have added (5.1T) (on "Technical methods" trumping "Mathematical and scientific methods") above and Merriam-Webster definitions of 'technical' at (5T). --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

P.S. I do intend to visit Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Economics to register concerns on the above as to process & events leading up to it after addressing the question of "technical methods" section as "JEL proportionate" [2 lines]) vs. "fair synopsis of the JEL" [more than 2 lines], (mentioned above) in a subsequent subsection. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)