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Building and Using Models as Examples

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  • García-Bermejo, Juan Carlos

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    (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)

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    Abstract

    Sometimes, theoreticians explicitly state that they consider their models as examples. When this is not the case, it is fairly common for theoreticians to attribute to their models the characteristics and objectives of illustrative examples. However, this way of understanding models has not received enough attention in the methodological literature focused on economics. Given that didactic examples and their properties are extremely familiar in practice, considering theoretical models as examples can offer a useful perspective on models and their properties. On the basis of both explanatory and exemplifying role played by the deductive arguments by which results are proved, the paper emphasizes also the importance of understanding in theoretical work, the analogical and tentative character of the application of models, the central role played by the above mentioned arguments in such application, the didactic function of theory, and the transmision of plausibility from those arguments to the results obtained.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History) in its series Working Papers in Economic Theory with number 2007/06.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:uam:wpaper:200706

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    Keywords: models; examples; explanatory arguments; theoretical understanding; analogical application;

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    1. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Industrialization and the Big Push," NBER Working Papers 2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
    3. Herbert A. Simon, 1996. "The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691914, December.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2001. "Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics," Nobel Prize in Economics documents, Nobel Prize Committee 2001-8, Nobel Prize Committee.
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