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Formal Approaches to Socio Economic Policy Analysis - Past and Perspectives

Gräbner, Claudius (2015): Formal Approaches to Socio Economic Policy Analysis - Past and Perspectives.

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Abstract

This paper is motivated by the observation that (1) socio economic analysis uses significantly less formalisms than mainstream economics, and (2) that there exist numerous situations in which socio economics could benefit from a more formal analysis. This is particularly the case if institutions play an important role in the system to be investigated.

Starting with a broad conception of a formalism, this paper introduces and discusses five different formal approaches regarding their adequateness for socio economic analysis: The Social Fabric Matrix Approach, the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, System Dynamics, (Evolutionary) Game Theory, and Agent Based Computational Modeling.

As a formal analysis always comes up with implicit ontological and epistemological tendencies, that have to be reflected if the formalism should contribute to a better understanding of the system under investigation, this paper pays particular attention to these tendencies of the considered formalisms.

In the end, antagonisms and possible convergences among the formalisms are discussed.

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