The Role of Models for Good and Evil

  • Charles A. S. Hall
  • Kent Klitgaard


The words «model» and «modeling» are found increasingly in economics and indeed in science in general. Therefore, it is important that we consider here some of the most important characteristics of these words and concepts and introduce the reader to how they are used in energy studies and in economics. Most generally the word «model» means a simplification. For example, we all work with models of human behavior that a person will act in a particular way because he or she is a teenager, a man, a woman, rich, poor, black, white, or whatever. Of course one of the important aspects of growing up is to realize that such models are wrong so often that they are essentially useless and that we need to meet and judge people one person at a time. So perhaps one of the most important things you can learn about models of any kind is that they are often wrong. But often they are correct, and usually, incorrect, they can be useful. So armed with a healthy skepticism we can go on to see what models really are. This chapter is in some respects a continuation of ► Chap.  16 on mathematical tools ► [1].


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. S. Hall
    • 1
  • Kent Klitgaard
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science & ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Wells CollegeAuroraUSA

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