Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):115-138 (2007)

Authors
Jaakko Kuorikoski
University of Helsinki
Abstract
The most common argument against the use of rational choice models outside economics is that they make unrealistic assumptions about individual behavior. We argue that whether the falsity of assumptions matters in a given model depends on which factors are explanatorily relevant. Since the explanatory factors may vary from application to application, effective criticism of economic model building should be based on model-specific arguments showing how the result really depends on the false assumptions. However, some modeling results in imperialistic applications are relatively robust with respect to unrealistic assumptions. Key Words: unrealistic assumptions • economics imperialism • rational choice • as if • robustness.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393107299684
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References found in this work BETA

On Ethics and Economics.Amartya Sen - 1989 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 51 (4):722-723.
Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey.R. Duncan Luce & Howard Raiffa - 1958 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 19 (1):122-123.
Economic Models.Allan Gibbard & Hal R. Varian - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy 75 (11):664-677.

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Citations of this work BETA

Economic Modelling as Robustness Analysis.Jaakko Kuorikoski, Aki Lehtinen & Caterina Marchionni - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):541-567.
Economics Imperialism: Concept and Constraints.Uskali Mäki - 2009 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (3):351-380.

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