PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: How are economic models used (and how should they be?)

Friday, 4 November 2016
09:00 - 11:45

Chastain C (6th Floor)

Chair: Roberto Fumagalli, University of Bayreuth; London School of Economics; University of Pennsylvania

This symposium will bring together philosophers of science and a prominent economist to address methodological and philosophical issues raised by economic modeling, particularly in the context of policy- and decision-making. Although the status of economic models has been a topic of considerable interest in the popular press in the years since the Financial Crisis of 2007-08, economic modeling has attracted less recent attention from philosophers of science. Our goal is to reinvigorate debate on this subject among philosophers, to bring philosophers of science into closer contact with economic methodologists, and to push the philosophy of economic modeling beyond the question of whether the assumptions underlying economic models are “realistic” and sensitive to empirical work by focusing instead what sorts of insights models provide in real policy and decision making scenarios, and how they provide them.

Striking the optimal balance: theoretical versus empirical methods in economics
Anna Alexandrova, Cambridge University,
Robert Northcott, Birkbeck College, University of London,
The main failure of Economics 101: Misleading students with an equilibrium model
Lawrence Boland, Simon Fraser University,
A Defense of Equilibrium Reasoning in Economics
Jennifer Jhun, University of Pittsburgh,
The Peculiar Logic of the Black-Scholes Formula
James Weatherall, University of California, Irvine,


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