Our current help center states that:

Software questions: Questions related to software used in economics and econometrics, are on-topic here.

I wonder if it should be changed to:

Software questions: Questions related to software used in economics and econometrics applied to economic & econometric problems, are on-topic here.

The reason for that are software questions like this or this, that technically under our current help center are on topic but users seems to be puzzled about why they are here or they are voted to be closed as off topic anyway.

There was already past meta question about this which went even further than this modest proposal, I do not necessary think we should go as far as suggested there but arguably questions that are just about functioning of a software without any application to economics at all seem a bit misplaced here and should likely be relegated to stack overflow.

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    $\begingroup$ I would change "applied to economic problems" to "applied to economic and econometric problems." This points to another "demarcation problem:" What kind of statistics questions are allowed here? $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Mar 26 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker yes good point, I edited that. If you ask me we should definitely allow econometric questions $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Mar 26 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding the overlap problem, here's some context from an older discussion: economics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/1845/59 "If the question seems plausibly on-topic on both sites, let it live in both cultures, as the answers will be different. Let the users of each community benefit from the information." $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Mar 26 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ Though, to be clear, I believe that the two questions you link are very low quality, regardless of whether they are on- or off-topic. They could/should be closed for other reasons (as well). $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Mar 26 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ @jmbejara I agree that overlaps should be allowed like for example cross-validated and economics.se both have great overlaps due to statistics, although here I wonder if it makes sense to just allow any question about software $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Mar 26 at 21:24

How about:

Software questions: Questions on how to use software to address economics and econometrics problems are on-topic here.


  1. Nowadays all sorts of software are used in economics so there's not much need to put a qualifier on it.
  2. This is a little less repetitive.
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    $\begingroup$ thanks, this is much better wording, lets see what others think otherwise I would be happy to accept this answer $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Mar 26 at 21:56

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