Jennifer Jhun

28 Feb, 4.00 – 6.00pm: 243, Senate House, London

Reasoning with Multiple Models: The Case of COMPASS

Central banks often, when constructing a forecasting model to be used for policy considerations, appeal to multiple models in this endeavor. In the philosophical literature, the use of multiple models in order to account for some phenomenon is often associated with assessments of robustness, which itself could be conceived in various ways. Closer examination of actual economic practice, such as the way one might try to coordinate the Bank of England’s COMPASS model with auxiliary models, shows that economists are sometimes up to something much broader – an activity that could be construed as the construction of a coherent narrative. Leaning on work by Mary Morgan, we consider what epistemic insight might result from engaging in the project of coherent narrative-making, and raise the possibilities of (1) another notion of robustness not currently discussed in the extant literature, and (2) a complementary notion of realism to accompany the economist’s practice of narrative-making. 

Jennifer Jhun is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.