Jeff Biddle, Michigan State University, "Narratives and Empirical Strategies in Zvi Griliches’s Early Research"

Event Type: 
Friday, November 5, 2021
3:30 PM
113 Social Sciences

Zvi Griliches, one of the leading econometricians of his generation, was originally trained as an agricultural economist, and his early work involved using cutting-edge econometric techniques to analyze the sources of productivity growth in 20th century US agriculture. This included his influential dissertation research on the diffusion of hybrid corn, and his analysis of the long-run growth in fertilizer use by US farmers. I argue that in this research Griliches developed theoretical explanations of these phenomena in the form of narratives of rational, profit seeking people responding to changing circumstances and novel information, and that these narratives informed his decisions about what statistical techniques to employ and how to implement them.