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What are the popular/very useful mathematical models for principles in economics?

  1. Dec 12, 2009 #1
    I have a question for those who are cognisant with the study of economics. I've heard in economic classes they teach all sorts of mathematical models to describe/predict all the "laws" in the field, or at least approximations. I'm trying to hunt down the popular and useful economics mathematical equations (I haven't taken an economics class before, but am very curious about the popular models). For those who are familiar with these economic mathematical models, mind sharing the knowledge with da PhysicsForums buddies? :smile:

    I like conceptualizing cause-effect systems ideas.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2009 #2
    There are a lot of them, especially in microeconomics. I would suggest Mas-Colell, Whinston, and Green', Microeconomic Theory. It lays out the mathematical justification for the foundations of microeconomic.

    For macroeconomics, its a bit more varied, and all depends on what you are looking at and to whom you are talking.
  4. Dec 15, 2009 #3
    Here are some of the basic ones with pretty graphics


    profit maximization
    indifference curves & budget constraint
    utility function
    Edgeworth's box


    the classic macroeconomic model
    Keynes: the Keynesian cross, IS-LM, Mundell-Fleming model
    intertemportal decisions: Modigliani's life cycle, random walk, labor demand

    My teacher's all-time fave: Slutsky's equation!!! (best name ever)


    edit: here are a few more, less model-y, intermediate topics. the ones above still depend on math but are meant to be a little more conceptual, the following depend more on mathematical treatment

    duality in consumer theory
    comparative statics
    decisions under uncertainty
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
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