College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ECON 830: Mathematical Economics I

ECON 830-001: Mathematical Economics I
(Fall 2017)

Enterprise Hall 274

Section Information for Fall 2017

We’ll spend the next few months covering the basics of optimal choice in continuous time, multivariate optimization, and the classic post-war microeconomics of individual and firm-level optimization. There’s alas much less emergence, less endogeneity, in this course than in most of economics, but on the other hand many of these tools are key ingredients in more sophisticated models. 

Skills I take entirely for granted: Elementary differential calculus (univariate and multivariate), elementary integration (univariate), basic matrix/linear algebra (addition, multiplication, inversion), univariate optimization, and logarithms, logarithms, logarithms.


Assigned Textbooks (tentative): 

Chiang and Wainwright, Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics, 4th edition.

Quite good on optimization theory, and covers a lot of widely-used models along the way. It covers only a few rarely used topics, and I’ve skipped almost all of them. The new section on continuous time, with which we start the course, is quite good.


Varian, Microeconomic Analysis, 3rd edition, 1992.

Varian’s text is at the intersection of most readable and wisest of the graduate microeconomics textbooks. An emeritus professor at Berkeley, he is now Chief Economist at Google, and coauthored perhaps the first great popular book on the economics of the internet, Information Rules. His academic theories were surely derided long ago as unrealistic and irrelevant to the real world. We should all be so irrelevant.

ECON 830 001 is controlled. Contact for information.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Includes set theory, function, differential calculus, integration, series, and matrix algebra, with special emphasis on economic applications. Notes: Non-degree students are permitted to enroll on space availability determined one week before the first day of classes AND on meeting the prerequisites AND with permission of instructor. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: Admission to doctoral program in economics, or ECON 306 and 311, and MATH 113; or permission of instructor.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

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