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Economics as robustness analysis

Kuorikoski, Jaakko and Lehtinen, Aki and Marchionni, Caterina (2007) Economics as robustness analysis. In: UNSPECIFIED.


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All economic models involve abstractions and idealisations. Economic theory itself does not tell which idealizations are truly fatal or harmful for the result and which are not. This is why much of what is seen as theoretical contribution in economics is constituted by deriving familiar results from different modelling assumptions. If a modelling result is robust with respect to particular modelling assumptions, the empirical falsity of these particular assumptions does not provide grounds for criticizing the result. In this paper we demonstrate how derivational robustness analysis does carry epistemic weight and answer criticism concerning its non-empirical nature and the problematic form of the required independence of the ways of derivation. The epistemic rationale and importance of robustness analysis also challenge some common conceptions of the role of theory in economics.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Kuorikoski, Jaakko
Lehtinen, Aki
Marchionni, Caterina
Keywords: robustness, economic models, idealization, tractability assumptions
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Economics
Depositing User: Jaakko Kuorikoski
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3550

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