Models, conjectures and exploration: an analysis of Schelling’s checkerboard model of residential segregation, Journal of Economic Methodology, Volume 14 Issue 4, pp. 429 – 454.

Abstract: This paper analyses and explicates the explanatory characteristics of Schelling’s checkerboard model of segregation. It argues that the explanation of emergence of segregation which is based on the checkerboard model is a partial potential (theoretical) explanation. Yet it is also argued that despite its partiality, the checkerboard model is valuable because it improves our chances to provide better explanations of particular exemplifications of residential segregation. The paper establishes this argument by way of examining the several ways in which the checkerboard model has been explored in the literature. The examination of the checkerboard model also supports the view that the relation between the real world and models is complex, and models should be considered as mediators, or as instruments of investigation.

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Aydinonat, N. Emrah (2006) “Institutions: Theory, History and Context-Specific Analysis”, History of Economic Ideas, 14 (3): 145-158

This is a review essay on Avner Greif, Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006, xx+503.

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*Thanks to History of Economic Ideas for allowing me post the fulltext of this review to EconPapers.

Game Theoretic Models as a Framework for Analysis: The Case of Coordination Conventions, in Aktan, C. C. (ed.) Advances in Economics: Theory and Applications, Vol 2, İzmir: Anıl Matbaacılık, 2006.

Abstract: This paper examines game theoretic models of coordination conventions. Firstly, the paper shows that static models of coordination cannot explain the emergence of coordination conventions. The best interpretation of these models is that they study the conditions under which coordination is possible. The examination of these conditions suggests that history and existing institutions are important in the process of emergence of institutions. Secondly, an examination of dynamic models of coordination conventions reveals that some of these models explicate some of the ways in which coordination may be brought about in the model world. Nevertheless, consideration of these models fortifies the point that history and existing institutions are crucial for explaining the emergence of conventions in the real world. Based on these observations, the paper suggests that game theory as a framework of analysis is the best possible interpretation of game theoretic models of coordination conventions.

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Aydinonat, N. Emrah, (2006) “Is the Invisible Hand un−Smithian? A Comment on Rothschild,” Economics Bulletin, Vol. 2 no. 2 pp. 1-9.

Rothschild (2001) argues that the invisible hand refers to blind individuals and presume privileged knowledge on the part of the social scientist. For this reason, she takes it that the invisible hand is, in fact, an un−Smithian concept and that Smith was making an ironical joke. In this brief comment, I argue that the invisible hand does not imply blind and futile individuals or privileged knowledge and it cannot be argued that it is an un−Smithian concept on these grounds. Briefly, it is argued here that although it may be true that Smith used the invisible hand somewhat ironically, this does not imply that it is un−Smithian.

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Aydinonat, N. Emrah, (2005) “An interview with Thomas C. Schelling: Interpretation of game theory and the checkerboard model,” Economics Bulletin, Vol. 2 no. 2 pp. 1-7.
This note is mainly based on a short interview with Thomas C. Schelling (TCS), who shared the Nobel Prize with Robert J. Aumann in 2005. The interview took place on 06.03.2001 at University of Maryland, College Park, USA. It consists of two parts. The first part is about his interpretation of game theory, particularly about the use of game-theoretic models in explaining the origin and maintenance of conventions, and norms. The second part is on the origin of Schelling’s influential checkerboard model of residential segregation, particularly about his approach to modeling social phenomena exemplified by this model. The note ends with some concluding remarks.

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