I am entirely too impressed with myself at the moment.

I have been working since this morning on trying to tease out a model from my various notes and ramblings on corruption, the topic of my economics thesis. Suffice to say that I spent a good portion of my time standing in front of a whiteboard jotting down equations, solving for *n*, binomially expanding, etc.

I’ve been told (or is the word warned?) by my professors that mathematics is a tool of economics, but it is not required to do economics. I buy that; however, had I not my knowledge of mathematics and the ability to apply it to economics, I would find it extremely difficult to formalize what would otherwise be a model weaved together by notions that often escape the notice or care of economists. Economics has a language, and mathematics is a very important part of that lexicon.

It is much easier for me to go to my professors, or other economists, with a set of descriptive equations, point at *n*, and say “That’s the state-civil society dissonance factor. That’s what we need to find a way to measure.” I am capable of weaving an analytic story, but why say with 1000 words what you can illustrate with a couple equations?

Mathematics may only be a tool in economics, but more and more I find it to be an absolutely essential and integral tool for understanding and expanding on my field.

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2007 at 10:26 pm and is filed under Corruption, Economics, Methodology, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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November 18, 2007 at 12:00 am |

Mathematics is absolutely essential to Economics. Without Econometricians, Statisticians and Distribution Theorists, Economists would be nothing more than the butt of endless “let’s assume we have a can-opener” jokes.

(Full disclosure: I’m an Econometrician. I’m still right).

November 18, 2007 at 1:26 pm |

Sounds like you’re a good candidate for graduate school.