Authors
Robert Sugden
University of East Anglia
Abstract
Using as examples Akerlof's 'market for ''lemons''' and Schelling's 'checkerboard' model of racial segregation, this paper asks how economists' abstract theoretical models can explain features of the real world. It argues that such models are not abstractions from, or simplifications of, the real world. They describe counterfactual worlds which the modeller has constructed. The gap between model world and real world can be filled only by inductive inference, and we can have more confidence in such inferences, the more credible the model is as an account of what could have been true.
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DOI 10.1080/135017800362220
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References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Models, Stories and the Economic World.Mary S. Morgan - 2001 - Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (3):361-384.

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Citations of this work BETA

Models and Fiction.Roman Frigg - 2010 - Synthese 172 (2):251-268.
Models and Representation.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. pp. 49-102.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
Model Pluralism.Walter Veit - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):91-114.

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