On the relativity of quantitative model results for policy purposes in the social sciences

P.G.C. Mensink

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

Abstract

This paper discusses potential sources of misinterpretation of quantitative model results by policy makers. It is argued that model results are relative, i.e. their correct interpretation depends on (1a) the policy maker for whom the model was meant for as a decision support system - and related - (1b) whether they are meant as descriptive or prescriptive, and (2), in case of uncertainty, whether actors or the policy maker experiences uncertainty. It is concluded that explicit identification of (1a) the preferences and decision power of the policy maker for whom the model is developed for, (1b) the descriptive or prescriptive character of the model, and (2) who experience uncertainty, will lower the chance of misinterpretation of model results. Examples of potential misinterpretation of model results are given for the field of greenhouse gas emission control.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen University
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

Name
No.12

Keywords

  • climatic change
  • environmental policy
  • decision making
  • uncertainty
  • modeling

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