[OPE-L:3438] Re: models

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 17:08:54 -0700 (PDT)

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Yet another comment is necessary on Alan's [OPE-L:3431]:

> I feel the issue of models - and Jerry is by no means the
> only person who wants to use them - is sufficiently distinct
> to warrant a separate thread.
> I think Jerry is interested in something different from us.
> His position seems to be, with nuances, a general criticism
> of nearly all deployment of simplifying assumptions in
> economic analysis, related to what seems to be the idea that
> the goal of economic theory is the construction of models.

How on earth did you ever come to the conclusion that I am a fan of
theoretical mathematical models? Indeed, we had a rather long thread in
the Spring on this question and I made it quite clear that I am
profoundly sceptical of the usefulness of math models (listmembers will
recall that we had a discussion on the formal logic embodied in math
models). However, although I am not a fan of models, I nonetheless insist
that *if* we develop models, then we have to consider the limitations
related to *particular* models (e.g. assumptions, parameters, sectors)
when considering the relevance and applicability of those models in terms
of understanding a particular subject.

In Solidarity,