Bretton Woods, Past and Present: 3. Models in Economics

What is a good model in economics? “The Kids” asked a dozen economists in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and we invite you to watch what they said.

Good models are those that pass the test of time, says Philippe Aghion. Brad DeLong presents what has come to be called Friedman’s “F-Twist”: assumptions don’t matter – a good model is one that predicts well. Wrong, says Anatole Kaletsky, economists ought to model the whole range of human behavior, and doing so requires re-examining the very assumptions on which our models rest. And to George Akerlof, a good model applies to the specific question asked; it corresponds to the problem at hand.

About The Kids:
The History of Economics Playground began life when a small group of young historians of economics created an independent blog. INET saw the opportunity to give their thoughtful ideas a wider audience, and the History of Economics Playground is now a featured blog on

We invited these young bloggers – self-styled as "The Kids" – to attend our annual conference in Bretton Woods last April and we provided them with a video team. The Kids were playing in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel, chasing everyone from George Akerlof to Anatole Kaletsky to Brad DeLong to James Galbraith. They produced four videos: the first showed a range of opinion on corruption in academia, the second tackled the question of what is progress in economics, and the last clip deals with economics education.