Model Diversity and the Embarrassment of Riches


In a recent special issue dedicated to Dani Rodrik’s (2015) influential monograph Economics Rules, Grüne-Yanoff and Marchionni (2018) raise a potentially damning problem for Rodrik’s suggestion that progress in economics should be understood and measured laterally, by a continuous expansion of new models. They argue that this could lead to an “embarrassment of riches”, i.e. the rapid expansion of our model library to such an extent that we become unable to choose between the available models, and thus needs to be solved to make ‘model pluralism’ viable. Drawing on Veit’s (2019a) ‘model pluralism’ account, this paper argues that model pluralism as a thesis about the relationship between science and nature undermines the very idea of a general model selection framework for policy making.

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Walter Veit
University of Reading

Citations of this work

Dennett and Spinoza.Walter Veit - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (3):259-265.
Polygenic scores and social science.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e229.

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References found in this work

Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 2008 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

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