The ‘strange non-death’ of economic models: How modelling contributed to neoliberal resilience in Denmark

Niels Fuglsang publishes an article in New Political Economy

Niels Fuglsang

The article presents a theoretical view on economic forecasting models as policy tools with both an overt objective function and a covert political function. On the one hand, policymakers view the economic models as objective ‘black boxes’ because of their reliance on complex mathematical calculations (i.e. econometrics) and economic theories. On the other hand, the economic models have the political function of simplifying the world and promoting certain policy goals and instruments instead of others. Thus, while appearing apolitical, the models do not merely describe the economy but also shape it by guiding policymakers in a certain political direction. The article analyses how politicians in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis used economic models before and during the 2011–2015 Social Democratic Thorning-Schmidt government in Denmark. The article shows how the Ministry’s model worked as a weapon, a game board and a shield to discredit certain policies while promoting other policies, and in the process contributing to neoliberal resilience.

The article can be accessed here:
And Niels Fuglsang's PhD dissertation, on which the article is based, can be found here:

The page was last edited by: Department of International Economics, Government and Business // 02/14/2023