A little while ago, I asked on this list if anyone knew of a correct,
model-based forecast of the impact of any social policy. The response,
once misunderstandings were sorted out, was several accounts of reasons
why policy impacts could not be forecast. The criteria I suggested for
deeming a forecast to be correct was the correct forecast of the timing
and direction of change of specified indicators.
We already know that economic recessions and recoveries have probably
never been forecast correctly -- at least no counter-examples have been
offered. Similarly, no financial market crashes or recoveries or
significant shifts in market shares have ever, as far as we know, been
forecast correctly in real time.
I believe that social simulation modelling is useful for reasons I have
been exploring in publications for a number of years. But I also
recognise that my beliefs are not widely held.
So I would be interested to know why other modellers think that
modelling is useful or, if not useful, why they do it.
Professor Scott Moss
Centre for Policy Modelling (retired)
t: +44 (0)1663 750913
m: +44 (0)776 968 9991