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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page xii of Roger Garrison’s insightful Foreword to Oskar Morgenstern [2]‘s 1979 booklet, National Income Statistics: A Critique of Macroeconomic Aggregation [3]; (this booklet is an excerpt from the much-revised 1963 second edition of Morgenstern’s 1950 volume, On the Accuracy of Economic Observations [4]):

Morgenstern describes the use of monthly and quarterly data in the analysis of business cycles as “nothing short of grotesque.”  Countercyclical policies derived from such analysis, of course, would have to be similarly described.  This assessment of the on-going practice of statisticians and policy makers conjures up the vision of a dietician who weights a locomotive both before and after the crew boards it, then uses the difference between the two weighings as the basis for prescribing a diet for the entire crew.