Earlier this week Amogh Sahu set up a INET YSI discussion group to deal with the 4th chapter of my forthcoming book which is entitled ‘Schemata: Abstraction and Modelling’. This is not available yet but I shared a draft with the group so that they could discuss it. I did this because I believe that the chapter represents a new approach to methodology and epistemology in economics (big claim, I know, but others will have to decide when the book comes out).
At the very least I hope that the chapter will at least allow people to discuss issues that are currently not discussed. Economists today simply do not know what they are saying with their models. I mean by that both that they are not clear about the relationship between models and the real world and that they have allowed a level of abstraction to creep into their modelling that leads them to be unsure what the modelling is actually saying. So, the disconnect is twofold: (1) economists are not clear on the relationship between their models and the real world and (2) economists are not clear on what the models are saying due to the highly abstract and speculative components out of which they are built.
The discussion is structured as such. After some preliminary introductions Amogh gives a breakdown of the chapter from the beginning of the clip until the 27.30 mark. I then give my input on what has been said, mainly clarifying the key points, from 27.30 until about 41.00. The conversation then opens up to general discussion. But it is structured as questions/statements addressed by Amogh and I. There are some echoes in the discussion that are my fault — I didn’t have a headset — but I think it is pretty listenable.