Describes the radical shift in the study of economic science; where arguing with words was replaced by reasoning with mathematical models.
During the last two centuries, the way economic science is done has changed radically: it has become a social science based on mathematical models in place of words. This book describes and analyses that change both historically and philosophically using a series of case studies to illuminate the nature and the implications of these changes. It is not a technical book; it is written for the intelligent person who wants to understand how economics works from the inside out. This book will be of interest to economists and science studies scholars (historians, sociologists and philosophers of science). But it also aims at a wider readership in the public intellectual sphere, building on the current interest in all things economic and on the recent failure of the so-called economic model, which has shaped our beliefs and the world we live in. Previously economists used words to describe their economic world and to argue about its laws. Nowadays, economists describe the world through mathematics and explain the phenomena of the real-world economy by reasoning with those little models. The World in the Model tells the story of this major cognitive shift.
1. Modelling as a method of enquiry; 2. Model building: new recipes, ingredients and integration; 3. Imagining and imaging: creating a new model world; 4. Character making: ideal types, idealization and the art of caricature; 5. Metaphors and analogies: choosing the world of the model; 6. Questions and stories: capturing the heart of matters; 7. Model experiments?; 8. Simulating: taking a microscope to economics; 9. Model situations, typical cases and exemplary narratives; 10. From the world in the model to the model in the world.