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

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521843195
ISBN-10: 0521843197
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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 www.wabash.edu/econometrics.
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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is alright if you looking at using excel for any predictive modeling using the Monte Carlo Method. As the title suggests it is geared toward business and economic simulations, but the sample principles apply to building simulations for engineering, design, or mathematical applications. Excel seems to be a universal arena people want to use for this purpose, This book gives a decent back ground of the theory but is really good for all the sample problems you can work and the answers to selected problems are in the back of the book. I have added it to my reference shelf at work.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm about 90 percent of the way through the text and I could only echo virtually everything the others have said. There are a lot of econometrics texts, some keyed to specific estimating packages. If you have enough self-discipline and motivation, you can get the basics, and for that matter, sometimes a little more. In quite a few fields--mine is one of them (economic history), you're not going to be doing Star Wars with 17th century data, or you shouldn't be. But I've always been left with some head scratching, particularly at more advanced procedures involving time series. You don't really get that in this text, but you get pretty much everything else--and you also get the intuition. Nothing like running a few thousand trials of an exercise to really understand what a sampling distribution is, or to understand what (more or less) randomness means, and that's the strength of this text. You get a computer, you sit down, you follow the examples, and then you repeat stuff on your own. Until you see it. Even if you know the basics pretty well, you'll learn things from this text (like what a chi-squared distribution really is) that you just won't get elsewhere. And you'll see why.

There are some problems, which is why I don't give the book five stars. There are some bugs in the CD ROM and going to the book's website will only fix them some of the time. The DDV model add-ins don't seem to work at all, which renders the chapter on Logit and Probit models a lot less useful than it would otherwise ber. Excel is really clumsy, and the newer versions have got too many database-like features for all the people who misuse Excel that way. Which has made the interface a mess.
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