Kevin D. Hoover
  • Kevin D. Hoover

  • Professor
  • Economics
  • 231 Soc Sciences
  • Campus Box 90097
  • Phone: +1 919 660 1876
  • Fax: +1 919 660 8974
  • Homepage
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bio

    Kevin D. Hoover joined Duke University in 2006 as Professor of Economics and Philosophy. He was previously professor and chair of the Economics Department of the University of California, Davis.

    Hoover was educated at the College of William and Mary, the University of St. Andrews, and Balliol and Nuffield Colleges of the University of Oxford. He had worked in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and held positions as a Heyworth Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and lecturer in economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

    Hoover’s teaching and research interests include monetary and macroeconomics, econometric search algorithms, causal modeling, the methodology of economics and the philosophy of science applied to economics, and the history of economics.

    Hoover is a former fellow of the National Humanities Center and a past recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Trent Foundation. He has organized conferences in the history of economics and economic methodology -- most recently the 2008 conference: "Robert Solow and the Development of Growth Economics."

    The author of more than eighty academic articles, four books, and has edited eight volumes of articles. He has presented his work widely in conferences and seminars in universities, central banks, and government departments throughout the world. In 2009, for instance, he presented an invited lectures, “Was Harrod Right?” to the 5th International Keynes Conference: On Modern Finance and Keynes, Sophia University, Tokyo; “Identity, Structure, and Causation in Economic Models,” to the Conference on Modeling the World: Perspectives from Biology and Economics, University of Helsinki"; and "Microfoundational Programs," to the First International Symposium on the History of Economic Thought, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

    He is past President of the History of Economics Society and past Chair of the International Network for Economic Method. He was for many years an editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology and is curretly an associate editor of the journal History of Political Economy. He serves on a number of editorial boards.
  • Specialties

    • History of Economics
    • Macroeconomics
  • Research Description

    Professor Hoover's research interests include macroeconomics, monetary economics, the history of economics, and the philosophy and methodology of empirical economics. His recent work in economics has focused on the application of causal search methodologies for structural vector autoregression, the history of microfoundational programs in macroeconomics, and Roy Harrod's early work on dynamic macroeconomics. In philosophy, he has concentrated on issues related to causality, especially in economics, and on reductionism -- the philosophical counterpart to microfoundations. Recently published papers include: He has conducted studies to investigate the history of twentieth century macroeconomics, the structure of vector auto-regression models, and causality in macroeconomics examined via specification search methodologies. Recent working papers include: “Still Puzzling: Evaluating the Price Puzzle in an Empirically Identified Structural Vector Autoregression,” “Was Harrod Right?” "Identity, Structure, and Causal Representation in Scientific Models."
  • Recent Publications

      • K.D. Hoover.
      • (September, 2013).
      • The Role of Hypothesis Testing in the Molding of Econometric Models.
      • Erasmus Journal of Philosophy and Economics
      • .
      Publication Description

      This paper addresses the role of tests of statistical hypotheses (specification tests) in selection of a statistically admissible model in which to evaluate economic hypotheses. The issue is formulated in the context of recent philosophical accounts on the nature of models and related to some results in the literature on specification search.

      • K.D. Hoover, S. Demiralp, and S.J. Perez.
      • (March, 2013).
      • “Still Puzzling: Evaluating the Price Puzzle in an Empirically Identified Structural Vector Autoregression”.
      • Empirical Economics
      • .
      Publication Description

      The price puzzle, an increase in the price level associated with a contractionary monetary shock, is investigated in a rich, 12-variable SVAR in which various factors that have been mooted as solutions are considered jointly. SVARs for the pre-1980 and post-1990 periods are identified empirically using a graph-theoretic causal search algorithm combined with formal tests of the implied overidentifying restrictions. In this SVAR, the pre-1980 price puzzle depends on the characterization of monetary policy, and the post-1990 price puzzle is statistically insignificant. Commonly suggested theoretical resolutions to the price puzzle are shown to have causal implications inconsistent with the data.

      • K.D. Hoover.
      • (2013).
      • Identity, Structure, and Causal Representation in Scientific Models.
      • In Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen, and Roberta Millstein (Eds.),
      • Towards the Methodological Turn in the Philosophy of Science: Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics
      • ,
      • (pp. 35-60).
      • Springer.
      Publication Description

      Recent debates over the nature causation, casual inference, and the uses of causal models in counterfactual analysis, involving inter alia Nancy Cartwright (Hunting Causes and Using Them), James Woodward (Making Things Happen) and Judea Pearl (Causation) hinge on how causality is represented in models. Economists’ indigenous approach to causal representation goes back to the work of Herbert Simon with the Cowles Commission in the early 1950s. The paper explicates a scheme for the representation of causal structure, inspired by Simon and shows how this representation sheds light on some important debates in the philosophy of causation. This structural account is compared to Woodward’s manipulability account. It is used to evaluate the recent debates – particularly, with respect to the nature of causal structure, the identity of causes, causal independence, and modularity. Special attention is given to modeling issues that arise in empirical economics.

      • K.D. Hoover.
      • (Accepted, 2013).
      • On the Reception of Haavelmo’s Econometric Thought.
      • Journal of the History of Economic Thought
      • .
      Publication Description

      Trygve Haavelmo’s The Probability Approach in Econometrics (1944) has been widely regarded as the foundation document of modern econometrics. Nevertheless, its significance has been interpreted in widely different ways. Some modern economists regard it as a blueprint for a provocative, but ultimately unsuccessful, program dominated by the need for a priori theoretical identification of econometric models. They call for new techniques that better acknowledge the interrelationship of theory and data. Others credit Haavelmo with an approach that focuses on statistical adequacy rather than theoretical identification. They see many of Haavelmo’s deepest insights as having been unduly neglected. The current paper uses bibliometric techniques and a close reading of econometrics articles and textbooks to trace the way in which the economics profession received, interpreted, and transmitted Haavelmo’s ideas. A key irony is that the first group calls for a reform of econometric thinking that goes several steps beyond Haavelmo’s initial vision; while the second group argues that essentially what the first group advocates was already in Haavelmo’s Probability Approach from the beginning.

      • K.D. Hoover and K.J. Juselius.
      • (Accepted, 2013).
      • Experiments, Passive Observation and Scenario Analysis: Trygve Haavelmo and the Cointegrated Vector Autoregression.
      • Econometric Theory
      • .
      Publication Description

      A careful, analytical account of Trygve Haavelmo's use of the analogy between controlled experiments common in the natural sciences and econometric techniques. The experimental analogy forms the linchpin of the methodology for passive observation that he develops in his famous monograph, The Probability Approach in Econometrics (1944). Contrary to some recent interpretations of Haavelmo’s method, the experimental analogy does not commit Haavelmo to a strong, apriorism in which econometrics can only test and reject theoretical hypotheses. Rather it supports the acquisition of knowledge through a two-way exchange between theory and empirical evidence. Once the details of the analogy are systematically understood, the experimental analogy can be used to shed light on theory-consistent cointegrated vector autoregression (CVAR) scenario analyses. A CVAR scenario analysis can be seen as a clear example of Haavelmo's 'experimental' approach; and, in turn, it can be shown to extend and develop Haavelmo's methodology and to address issues that Haavelmo regarded as unresolved.

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  • PhD Students

    • Morten Tabor
      • 2013
    • Robert Williams
      • Status: Graduated
    • Francois Claveau
      • 2011-2013
      • Status: Graduated
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