Lars Jörgen Pålsson Syll is a Swedish economist who is a Professor of Social Studies and Associate professor of Economic History at Malmö University College.
As social researchers, we should never equate science with mathematics and statistical calculation. All science entail human judgement, and using mathematical and statistical models don’t relieve us of that necessity. They are no substitutes for thinking and doing real science.
Statistical — and econometric — patterns should never be seen as anything else than possible clues to follow. Behind observable data, there are real structures and mechanisms operating, things that are — if we really want to understand, explain and (possibly) predict things in the real world — more important to get hold of than to simply correlate and regress observable variables.
Statistics cannot establish the truth value of a fact. Never has. Never will.