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Homework Help: What is monotonic transformation? (economics)

  1. Jun 18, 2010 #1
    The textbook says it's a way of transforming a set of numbers into another set that preserves the order. But I don't understand what that means.

    Here are a few examples. The question was: do these functions represent a monotonic transformation.


    u = 2v - 13 (yes)

    u = -1/v2 (no)

    u = ln(v) (yes)

    u = v2 (no)



    I have no clue what you're supposed to look for.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2010 #2

    tiny-tim

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    Hi 60051! :smile:

    It means the graph is always going up (or always going down).

    Look at the graph for the second and fourth examples …

    if we include negative values of v, then the graph of u against v (u up and v across) comes down and then goes up …

    for example, in the fourth one, -2 < 1 < 60051, but (-2)2 > 12 < 600512, so the order isn't preserved. :wink:
     
  4. Jun 18, 2010 #3
    What if there are two variables?
     
  5. Jun 18, 2010 #4

    tiny-tim

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    You mean if, say, you are told that "u is a monotonic function of x and y"?

    I've never heard of "monotonic" being used for two (input) variables, but I suppose it would mean that, for each fixed value of y, u is a monotonic function of x, and for each fixed value of x, u is a monotonic function of y (and I expect they'd need to be either both monotonic increasing or both monotonic decreasing).

    But that seems completely different from your textbook, which says that it's a way of transforming a set of numbers into another set that preserves the order …

    that presumes that the original set of numbers has an order, and a two-variable set of numbers doesn't have any obvious order (eg is (3,7) before or after (5,5) ?). :wink:
     
  6. Jun 18, 2010 #5

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    All four examples you gave have two variables -- u and v. In each of those examples u is a function of v.

    tiny-tim already answered for a situation in which there are three variables, where, for example, z is a function of two variables, x and y.
     
  7. Jun 18, 2010 #6
    Say you have an example like:

    u = x2y2

    So du/dx = 2xy2, and du/dy = 2yx2.

    So how do you tell if the graph is always rising or falling?
     
  8. Jun 18, 2010 #7

    HallsofIvy

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    As tiny-time said, "monotonic" is normally used for functions of several variables.

    Here, it is clear that [itex]x^2[/itex] and [itex]y^2[/itex] are always non-negative so whether the du/dx is positive nor negative depends on the sign of y and whether du/dy is positive or negative depends on the sign of x.

    In the first quadrant, where x> 0 and y> 0, du/dx and du/dy are both positive so the function increases as both x and y increase. In the third quadrant where both are negative, the function decreases as both x and y increase. In the second and fourth quadrants, whether the function vaue increases or decreases with increasing x and y depends on the precise values of x and y.
     
  9. Jun 18, 2010 #8

    tiny-tim

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    Put y constant, and see whether du/dx is always positive (or always negative).

    Put x constant, and see whether du/dy is always positive (or always negative).

    EDIT: ooh, HallsofIvy beat me to it! :smile:

    (but i think he meant ' "monotonic" is normally used for functions of one variable ')​
     
  10. Jun 18, 2010 #9

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    The graph is not a single curve; it's a surface in three dimensions.
    Your textbook seems to be talking about functions of a single variable. As tiny-tim pointed out, there is no obvious way of determining whether one ordered pair is "less than" another ordered pair.

    BTW, if u = x2y2, the partial derivatives have meaning, but not the ordinary derivatives.

    IOW
    [tex]\frac{\partial u}{\partial x} = 2xy^2[/tex]
    and

    [tex]\frac{\partial u}{\partial y} = 2x^2y[/tex]
     
  11. Jun 18, 2010 #10

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm sure you meant functions of a single variable.
     
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