A Primer on Mathematical Modelling in Economics
22 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2012
Date Written: September 2012
The Commission on Graduate Education in Economics had raised several concerns regarding the role of mathematics in graduate training in economics (Krueger, 1991; Colander, 1998, 2005). This paper undertakes a detailed scrutiny of the notion of a utility function to motivate and describe the common patterns across mathematical concepts and results that are used by economists. In the process one arrives at a classification of mathematical terms which is used to state mathematical results in economics. The usefulness of the classification scheme is illustrated with the help of a discussion of Arrow's impossibility theorem. Common knowledge of the patterns in mathematical concepts and results could be effective in enhancing communication between students, teachers and researchers specializing in different sub‐fields of economics.
Keywords: Arrow's impossibility theorem, Set theory, Utility function
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