Narratives and Model-Based Reasoning in Economics

Rui F. de S. Só Maia

My research project inquires into the academic practices of economists in order to understand the interplay between formal and informal reasoning in the archetypal activity of the economic discipline, modelling. More specifically, the project resorts to recent developments in the literature on scientific reasoning to uncover the nature and extent to which narratives bear on the model-based inferences economists make. The expectation is that this exercise will produce an account of the epistemic roles of narratives in the disciplinary practices of economists that does justice to the importance these scholars attribute to formal methods, while at the same time being sensitive to the actual process by which these methods are employed.