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Models, stories and the economic world

  • Economics


Stories form an integral part of models. An economic model can not be fully characterized simply by knowing its structure: the model can only be completely described when we know how it works and what it can do. This activity of manipulating a model requires a narrative device, such as a question, which sets off a story told with the model. The structure or system portrayed in the model constrains and shapes the stories that can be told, but without stories showing how the structure works, we cannot tell what might happen in specific cases. Without these narrative elements, we cannot apply model-structures directly onto the facts of the economic world, nor demonstrate outcomes about the hypothetical world represented in the model. Thus, stories are not simply devices of persuasion, but constitute an important part of the identity of a model.

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