55 votes
Accepted

Fundamental equations in economics

Instead of proposing specific equations, I will point to two concepts that lead to specific equations for specific theoretical set ups: A) Equilibrium The most fundamental and the most misunderstood ...
43 votes
Accepted

Criticism of Math in Economics

I find that the essay "The New Astrology" by Alan Jay Levinovitz (an assistant professor of philosophy and religion, not an economist) makes some good points. ...the ubiquity of mathematical theory ...
  • 27.2k
36 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

As has already been said, the MOST fundamental equation is surely: $$\text{MB}=\text{MC}$$ EDIT: This equation is fundamental in terms of the way economists think. As pointed out in the comments ...
  • 2,016
36 votes

Criticism of Math in Economics

What is a reason to be against mathematics in economics? The danger that any tool creates: to impose itself on the tool-user, diluting and narrowing its view of the world. It is a matter of Human ...
28 votes

Criticism of Math in Economics

I would like to point out that the question is not whether we should have math in economics, but why some people attack mathematical economics. A lot of the recent answers seem to try to answer the ...
  • 27.2k
24 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

Most of intro econ is intersecting lines. Specifically, $$MB = MC$$ * Equilibrium is achieved when Marginal Benefit is equal to Marginal Cost* $$\dfrac{MU_x}{p_x}=\dfrac{MU_y}{p_y}.$$ Marginal Utility ...
  • 2,167
22 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

I once heard Roger Myerson talk about why he thought Economics has, as a Social Science, been so successful in applying (or has so readily incorporated) mathematics. He suggested that perhaps it was ...
  • 9,165
22 votes

Criticism of Math in Economics

I think there are two important criticisms or limitations. Limit 1: The first, overlapping with what many others have said, is that all mathematic economics are reduced-order models of very highly ...
  • 331
20 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

I think one of the most important equations (at least within macroeconomics) is: $$E\left[ m R \right] = 1$$ This equation has been used to derive many foundational results. This equation motivated ...
  • 1,583
19 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

Although I agree with Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya that the most interesting ideas in economics are not always best expressed through equations, I still want to mention the Slutsky or compensated law of ...
18 votes

Why hasn't JPE formally retracted Emily Oster's article "Hepatitis B and the Case of the Missing Women" (2005)?

Why hasn't JPE formally retracted Oster (2005)? In this case there simply is no reason to retract the paper. Academic papers are typically retracted for one of the following reasons: Retraction for ...
  • 45k
17 votes

Why does the Solow Model matter for undergraduate students?

I disagree that: a) The core curriculum should not include things that are relevant only for those pursuing graduate school. b) A university degree should necessarily focus only on career outcomes ...
  • 5,509
14 votes

Criticism of Math in Economics

I think that the opposition to mathematics in Economics mainly has to do with the obstacles it poses to indoctrination. A proposition expressed in terms of a mathematical/logic system is susceptible ...
13 votes

Contest: earliest written instance of economic thought

I was recently amazed to discover instances of computational social choice in The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, the Chinese counterpart of Euclid's element, written by several generations of ...
13 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

I don't think there are any economics equations with the same status as, say, Maxwell's equations in physics. In its place we have concepts like the equimarginal principle, competitive equilibrium or ...
13 votes

Criticism of Math in Economics

"All models are wrong; some are useful." The title is really all one needs, but to put a few more words behind it, mathematics is very good at deriving detailed results from very specific premises. ...
12 votes
Accepted

Citing non-economics studies in an economics research paper

As long as the main results/conclusions of your paper don't rely solely on the non-economics literature you cite, you should be okay. In other words, it's perfectly fine to use non-economics ...
  • 14.7k
11 votes

Book recommendations on empirical methods in economic research and econometrics?

Firstly, for basic introductory econometrics, the following is quite good: "Introduction to Econometrics" by Stock and Watson. It is light on technical details, and heavy on intuition. This might ...
  • 16.6k
11 votes

What is the consensus (if any) on Peters "The ergodicity problem in economics" (2019)?

Well there is no opinion poll among economists on specifically this problem, but what can be judged from reaction of economists the consensus is that the Ole Peters paper is misguided and irrelevant ...
  • 45k
11 votes
Accepted

Is Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell a good book for a layperson who isn't interested in pursuing economics?

I heard that Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell is a good book for a layperson to get a feel for how the economy works. I have also heard some criticisms but they seem to be based on Thomas Sowell's ...
  • 45k
10 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

A bit late to the game, but I'm surprised no one has named the equation to calculate OLS estimates: $$ \hat\beta=(X'X)^{-1}X'y $$
  • 14.7k
10 votes

Why does the Solow Model matter for undergraduate students?

I second/third/whatever the objection to the "ideal careers" put forth here. Data Analyst - Most of these jobs will go to comp-sci graduates, especially as artificial intelligence and machine ...
  • 1,798
9 votes

Contest: earliest written instance of economic thought

Game Theory in the Talmud by Robert J. Aumann discusses a bankruptcy problem and a variety of fair division problems of a contested sum from the Talmud, a document written roughly between 200 and 500 ...
  • 16k
9 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

For me, one of the most important ones is the budget constraint. It might seem too obvious but a lot of laypersons (though maybe not physicist) don't get it! $p⋅x \leq w$
  • 253
9 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

Whilst not as foundational as, for example, the Slutsky equation, the condition on the Lerner index that a profit maximising firm with price $p$, cost $c$, and price elasticity of demand $\eta$ has $$\...
  • 16.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Math basics for Macro&Micro economics and econometrics

I recommended familiarity with the following topics: partial differentiation and optimization of multivariate functions study fixed point theorems. Kakutani and Brower are good ideas. Set theory ...
  • 2,901
8 votes

Why does the Solow Model matter for undergraduate students?

Adding to previous answers ... The basic Solow model is an example of a class of long-term macroeconomic models in which output is a function of inputs of two or more factor inputs and the ratios of ...
  • 7,435
8 votes

Citing non-economics studies in an economics research paper

There seem to be two things: The first is that "perceived value" is not something that directly corresponds to something economists usually study. It might be related to, say, marriage ...
8 votes

Learning post-keynesian and marxist economics

.. what explains the lack of pluralism in the current academic landscape? A) This is mostly due to empirical revolution in economics. In the past economics used to have a lot of schools of thought (e....
  • 45k
7 votes

Fundamental equations in economics

It is already written but Euler equation in continous time yields $$\frac{\dot{C}}{C}=\sigma(r-\rho)$$ where $\sigma$ is intertemporal elasticity of substitution, $r$ interest rate and $\rho$ is ...

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