The Austrian Economist’s Skepticism on Empirics That Validate ABCT

I agree completely with this comment of Russell’s about the empirical tests that have been done in the past to ‘test’ Austrian business cycle theory:

It is interesting that despite all the data shortcomings, the authors found some empirical validity to ABCT in the industrial production data and in the impact on prices using the fed funds rate.  It’s interesting but ultimately not that interesting, since, as you noted, their methodology is oversimplifying and could be misleading, particularly in respect of the monetary aggregates (base money, M1 and M2).  So from a theoretical Austrian perspective we must be as sceptical about findings in favour of ABCT as we are about mixed or contradictory findings.

When the data either validates or invalidates ABCT, I am equally skeptical as we are dealing with 1) highly complex phenomena, 2) available data mostly measures the wrong things rather badly, but at a much more fundamental level 3) historical economic data cannot and does not provide us with the facts in the same way that the natural sciences would present us with facts in an isolated lab experiment or test – so testing praxeology in this manner does not tell us anything at all about its validity.