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

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The epistemic benefits of generalization in economic modelling

This paper spells out why generality is an important desideratum in economic modelling. Generalising models serves similar epistemic functions as robustness analysis: it provides a solution to the epistemic uncertainty that arises from the presence of unrealistic assumptions. We present our arguments by discussing examples from economic modelling: the Dixit-Stiglitz model of monopolistic competition and Abraham Wald’s proofs for the existence of general equilibria.

Author Information:

Aki Lehtinen    
Department of Political and Economic Studies/Social and Moral Philosophy
University of Helsinki

Caterina Marchionni    
Dept. of Political and Economic Studies/Social and Moral Philosophy
University of Helsinki

 

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