Sunday, January 13, 2013

Peter Radford: "I call these models caricatures"

From the Real-World Economics Review Blog, Cartoon Economics by Peter Radford:

Economists nowadays love to talk about their models. They produce models to explain and elucidate. They devise more complex models to mimic the entire economy. They cobble together small models to illustrate a particular problem. Not to model is not to be an economist.

I call these models caricatures. That’s what they are. Caricatures.

They are gross simplifications with certain features of the real world suppressed or eliminated entirely in order to draw attention to others. If the model is supposed to throw light on one thing, then other stuff is thought of as extraneous and eliminated.

Apparently economists like caricatures because they cannot draw good portraits. Economics is mostly a cartoon. We need it to be more.

Good article!

The economy is the model. Anything else is caricature.

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