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Assumption is the act of taking for granted, or supposing a thing without proof; a supposition; an unwarrantable claim.


  • Assumptions can simplify the complex world and make it easier to understand. To study the effects of international trade, for example, we might assume that the world consists of only two countries and that each country produces only two goods. In reality, there are numerous countries, each of which produces thousands of different types of goods. But by assuming two countries and two goods, we can focus our thinking on the essence of the problem. Once we understand international trade in this simplified imaginary world, we are in a better position to understand international trade in the more complex world in which we live. The art in scientific thinking—whether in physics, biology, or economics—is deciding which assumptions to make.
    • N. Gregory Mankiw, Principle of Economics (6th ed., 2012), Ch. 2. Thinking Like an Economist

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