Title: Optimal policy modelling? An argumentation theory approach to making sense of economic modelling

Authors: Patrick Klösel

Addresses: Department of Economics, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Ludwigstr. 28, 80539 Munich, Germany

Abstract: The 'unrealistic-assumptions' puzzle and the 'prediction-failure' puzzle pose problems to the current practice of policy modelling in economics. The standard accounts by Friedman, McCloskey, Sugden and Mäki fail to provide a criterion to expose problematic idealisations. In this paper, I develop the 'models-as-argumentations' view which sensitises the modeller and practitioners to the fact that in order to derive policy recommendations, the adequacy-for-purpose of the model at hand has to be considered more carefully. Regarding economic models as complex argumentations allows for rational policy recommendations but imposes a certain degree of realism on the model's assumptions.

Keywords: economic models; argumentation theory; unrealistic assumptions; adequacy-for-purpose; intellectual modesty; idealisation; realism; induction; policy recommendations; analogy; isomorphism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2022.124574

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2022 Vol.13 No.1, pp.72 - 91

Accepted: 17 Feb 2022
Published online: 28 Jul 2022 *

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