Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Finding out the lay of the land

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I am trying to express an attitude toward the building of very simple models. I don’t think that models…lead directly to prescription for policy or even to detailed diagnosis. But neither are they a game. They are more like reconnaissance exercises. If you want to know what it’s like out there, it’s all right to send two or three fellows in sneakers to find out the lay of the land and whether it will support human life. If it turns out to be worth settling, then that requires an altogether bigger operation. The job of building usable larger-scale econometric models on the basis of whatever analytical insights come from simple models is much more difficult and less glamorous. But it may be what God made graduate students for. Presumably he had something in mind.

Robert M. Solow, Growth Theory

Written by nevalalee

July 30, 2017 at 7:30 am

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