The network, which welcomes researchers interested in policy and model comparisons, is one part of a larger project called the Macroeconomic Model Comparison Initiative (MMCI) organized by Michael Binder, Volker Wieland, and me. That initiative includes the Macroeconomic Model Data Base, which already has 82 models that have been developed by researchers at central banks, international institutions, and universities. Key activities of the initiative are comparing solution methods for speed and accuracy, performing robustness studies of policy evaluations, and providing more powerful and user-friendly tools for modelers.
Why limit the comparison to models? Why not compare models with verbal reasoning?
I think that this is a larger question for the profession. I have staked out a claim that policy makers would be better off without the CBO’s models of health insurance coverage or Keynesian multipliers. I believe that policy makers would be better served by verbal reasoning instead.
The dominant view of the profession is that “it takes a model to beat a model.” There are a number of concerns with verbal reasoning. It lacks precision. It cannot be evaluate quantitatively. etc.
I wish to argue that when all is said and done, models often do more harm than good to the decision-making process. What are the best arguments against my view?