Why do economists use models, and to what extent is it important that these models are realistic?
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Why do economists use models, and to what extent is it important that these models are realistic? One of the main reasons as to why we construct models is because we wish to know why something is as it is. We use these models all the time to decide how to act, not only in economics but also in real life. For example because we know that fire burns we tend not to put our hands in a flame. In economics however these models are used obviously for economic understanding and to act upon the findings. In economics there are two types of models a positive model and a normative model. A positive model deals with facts and figures, which can be proven whereas when using normative models you tend to find that they deal with the way things ought to be. The main type of model for solving problems and looking at the economy are the positive models. The basic use of an economic model is to help economists to understand and predict a large number of economic problems such as unemployment and inflation.
Models are very valuable resources to economists because not only do they portray a problem they also manipulate the recipients mind into a certain way of thinking. This mode of thought helps the economist not only in that particular example, but also in every problem they are faced with. This is because economists don't have to learn every single model ever made in order to become a good scholar, but it is helpful to have the skill of interpreting the majority of models that they come across. A single model helps to do this because if you can interpret one model you can usually cope with other examples. Although models can display problems in an understandable way they are not extremely realistic because they tend to concentrate on a specific area of a problem and then distort that point to make it more understandable. This means, in most cases, that in order to find out about the whole problem economists sometimes need to use a number of different models in order to solve one issue.
> Models can be used to portray the workings of a market or an economy. In this case the fact that the predictions of the model are unrealistic is not particularly important because the detail may be realistic, in the model, but it may not be able to foretell the future. > If the model is normative then obviously the realism is trivial due to the fact that is depicting what ought to be happening. > Models that are very simple may still be useful because the assumptions raised by it may be powerful but simple conclusions. Good models, which are of the up most importance to economists, contain relevant insights into the problem even if this means that they have to modify what actually occurs in the real world, this gives a more in depth understanding of the issue at hand. Also the best models are usually the simplest due to the fact that they are easy to construe. Economics essay on the use of models
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