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Introductory Econometrics: Using Monte Carlo Simulation with Microsoft Excel Har/Cdr Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521843195
ISBN-10: 0521843197
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Editorial Reviews


"Barreto and Howland have taken a truly innovative approach to teach undergraduate econometrics, using computer simulation methods to illustrate and clarify difficult topics. Fully integrated with Microsoft Excel, this textbook forces students to take a hands-on approach to the subject. There is no better way to learn econometrics than by doing econometrics!"
Jason Abrevaya, Purdue University

"Barreto and Howland have done an excellent job of producing an introductory econometric textbook based on Excel software combined with a well written and applied intuitive approach to econometrics. In my opinion, their teaching philosophy is absolutely the correct method: Put the student in front of a computer and teach econometrics by doing econometrics"
Daniel V. Gordon, University of Calgary

"Humberto and Barreto have written a worthwhile and unique textbook on introductory econometrics. I was initially skeptical that Excel and Monte Carlo simulation could be integrated coherently, but the authors execute it well. This book has many positives, including accessibility, potential to engage some students who otherwise might not be interested and likelihood of students finishing with a strong understanding of sampling distributions and linear regression...instructors should consider this progressive textbook for their undergraduate econometrics course."
Ryan E. Wiegand, Journal of the American Statistical Association

Book Description

This introductory econometrics book is radically different from its competitors. Where other texts are filled with formulas and jargon, packed with a great deal of advanced material and require advanced mathematics, its fundamental strategy is to use clear language and take advantage of recent developments in computers to create concrete, visual explanations of difficult, abstract ideas. For more, readers may visit the web site at

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Har/Cdr edition (December 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521843197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521843195
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Richard Macha on February 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was a new graduate student I ended up buying several different econometrics texts. No one text had the best explanation for each topic. The problem remained that for many topics I never did find a book which translated the formal mathematical presentation into a practical worked out example, so that I could understand the procedure and how to implement it.

This book and accompanying CD-ROM does that and much more.

Every topic includes guided Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and add-ins which illustrate the topic being addressed. The text clearly explains not only the HOW, but the WHY. The economics and the econometrics are presented with such clarity and unity; bridging the two in a way that none of the other texts do.

In Barreto and Howlands book/CD package you interact with the data and the graphs (they include a superior add-in for creating histograms), and run Monte Carlo simulations to see the behavior of the estimators in repeated sampling. These are "live" spreadsheets that invite you to experiment. For example; there is an Excel workbook which illustrates the correlation coefficient. Rather than a dry recitation of formula and proof, you can interact with the spreadsheet and see exactly how the same coefficient can apply to data having very different patterns. It is one thing to see an illustration, and quite another to actually be the one creating the diagram, simply by running the macros and changing parameters. This "hands on" approach is so vital to actually getting an understanding of the material. I have only a basic understanding of Excel, and have had no difficulties in using the workbooks.

While the limits of Excel are pointed out by the authors, it is important to note the reason for using Excel.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J. Zierak on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am only half finished with this book, but since there is only one other review, I want to get my thoughts up NOW. I may add to them when I have finished.

My wife is an econ major at a small school with very few econ majors. Econometrics is not offered as a course. Although as a practical businessman with a preference for Austrian school economic theory I have a healthy scepticism about quantitative macroeconomic (especially) formulas, I have told my wife that she can not be a part of today's theoretical discussions without a basic understanding of econometrics. I promised to help her self-study this topic, and have reviewed a number of supposedly "introductory" texts (to remain nameless, but they are standards)that have lost me within 50 pages. Neither my wife nor I have calculus or matrix algebra. However, even those texts that say they do not rely on such math knowledge are still confusing. Until now.

Barreto's text is a wonder. The other review gives solid examples of why this is. Let me just say that you will be able to see econometric principles in action. The explanations are incredibly clear, and the work on the beefed up excel spreadsheets effectively demonstrates those explanations. I know this will be difficult to believe, but the text is actually fun to read. My wife and I both have college algebra, business statistics, and basic excel. That's all you need to use this book.

Every university should adopt this book as the intro econometrics text. It provides an approach to learning the topic that is accessible to any intelligent econ student. Those going on to PhD work could supplement with calculus, matrix algebra, and one of the other so-called intro texts.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mariusz Siomak on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book for everybody who would like to understand statistics and econometrics. It concentrates on regression and Monte Carlo simulation. I see the biggest value of the book in the way the statistical concepts are introduced. The authors build the intuition of the reader using meaningful examples, explaining thoroughly all the concepts and using Monte Carlo simulations to visualize them. Simulations are used as a tool for estimating parameters, but also support the reader's intuition and visualize the stochastic variables, their distributions, the role of chance in statistical inference, hypothesis testing etc. The examples in the book are not just illustration of the text, they are meant to open reader's eyes to some unexpected / counterintuitive features, that are difficult to capture just by studying the theory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grouchy Smurf on June 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an academic with little background in economics who constantly struggled with advanced techniques, over the years I have tried several econometrics textbooks. Every book has its strengths, but of all books I have been exposed to, I thought this one had the clearest exposition. Concepts are explained well, and the Monte Carlo approach helps tremendously in grasping the underpinning concepts. Things I liked about this book in general:
* It clearly distinguishes between descriptive and inferential statistics - between describing and summarizing data, and drawing inferences from that data.
* Use of Excel sheets to try things out and "see" many things for yourself (for example, see how the least squares achieves best fit to the data).
* It uses real data on economic indicators, such as data on labor markets.
* It minimizes use of matrix algebra or calculus. Mathematical proofs etc. are pushed into appendices at the end of chapters, which can be skipped without loss of continuity.
Things I did not like:
* You have to wait until Chapter 10 in order to get to statistical inference. The first 200 pages is all about summarizing and interpreting patterns in data.
* The book requires you to constantly switch between Excel sheets and the book itself. As a result, every chapter takes longer to finish. Sometimes you have to work on more than one worksheet within a chapter, which adds to this difficulty.
* Excel is not a statistics program and can be cumbersome. Moreover, if the student is to take more advanced courses, Excel will not be enough for him/her.

I think overall the pros far outweigh the cons.
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