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Ever since the discipline of economics began, its practitioners have tried to infer laws, tendencies, causal relationships, associations, etc about the real world. The mode of reasoning used was predominantly verbal. In the successive periods, economics witnessed an increase in the use of diagrams, statistics and mathematics for purposes of reasoning. Today, we know that mathematical economics and econometrics form an essential part of the economists' toolkit. Irrespective of the mode of reasoning, economists make claims about certain mechanisms in the real world. These claims are made through the construction of models - mathematical, statistical and verbal or a mix of all three.
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