On Accuracy, Precision and the Real World: Some Thoughts on System Dynamics as a Policy Tool,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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This paper is a critique of the assumptions underlying the World Model, a computer-based model of the global ecology, designed by Jay W. Forrester and Dennis Meadows, as delineated in their publications World Dynamics 1971 and the Limits to Growth 1972. The views of Forrester and Meadows as to what constitutes a valid and useful model and what role quantification plays in the generation of an accurate model are examined. Two important modifications of the World Model are described, as are the criteria employed in each for the evaluation of Forresters model as a useful policy tool. It is concluded that Forrester and Meadows generally overstate the case for the appropriateness of their model as a policy tool. A great deal more scientific inquiry is required before models of this kind can be considered to be reliable aids to policy-making.
- Government and Political Science