# Mathematical Economics: 2007-2008

### Description

Mathematics and economics are complementary disciplines. Many branches of modern economics use mathematics and statistics extensively, and some important areas of mathematical research have been motivated by economic problems. Economists like Kenneth Arrow, for example, have made important contributions the field of mathematical optimization, and Mathematician John Nash was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics for his work in game theory. Haverford’s Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics enables students in each of the disciplines not only to gain proficiency in the other, but also to appreciate the ways in which they are related.

Students enrolling in the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics must be majoring in either mathematics or economics. Mathematics majors pursuing the concentration take three core courses in economics, an additional economics elective, and two mathematics electives on topics that have applications in economics. Symmetrically, economics majors in the concentration take three core mathematics courses, an additional mathematics elective, and two economics electives in which mathematical methods and reasoning are important.

Economics students with a variety of backgrounds and career interests can benefit from completing the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics. The mathematics courses required by the concentration are extremely valuable for students interested in pursuing graduate study in economics. A strong mathematical background is also an asset for students going on to business school or graduate programs in public policy. Many economics-related jobs in government, business and finance require strong quantitative skills, and students interested in seeking such positions are well-served by the concentration.

The Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics can also benefit mathematics majors. Many students find mathematics more exciting and meaningful when they see it applied to a discipline they find interesting and concrete. Almost every undergraduate mathematics course covers topics useful in economic applications: optimization techniques in multivariable calculus, quadratic forms in linear algebra, fixed point theorems in topology. In intermediate and advanced courses in economics, mathematics majors can see how these tools and methods are applied in another discipline.

### Coordinators

Associate Professor of Economics and Department representative Richard Ball, Concentration Coordinator

Professor of Mathematics and Department representative Lynne Butler

### Requirements

- For students majoring in mathematics, the requirements of the concentration consist of six courses:
- Three required economics courses:
- ECON 101 (Introduction to Microeconomics)
- ECON 102 (Introduction to Macroeconomics)
- ECON 300 (Intermediate Microeconomics)

- One additional elective in economics
- Two mathematics electives on topics with significant relevance or applicability to economics. (These courses may be counted toward fulfillment of the mathematics major as well as the mathematical economics area of concentration.)

- Three required economics courses:
- For students majoring in economics, the requirements of the concentration consist of six courses:

- Three required mathematics courses:

- MATH 121 (Multivariable Calculus) or Math 216 (Advanced Calculus)
- MATH 215 (Linear Algebra)
- MATH 317 (Analysis I)

- One additional elective in mathematics
- Two economics electives involving significant applications of mathematical methods. (These courses may be counted toward fulfillment of the economics major as well as the mathematical economics area of concentration.)

- Three required mathematics courses:

### Additional Remarks

Students should consult with the concentration coordinator about the selection of the electives taken for the concentration (parts (B) and (C) of the requirements above).

Some examples of courses that may fulfill part (C) of the requirements for mathematics majors are the following: MATH 204 (Differential Equations), MATH 210 (Linear Optimization and Game Theory; cross-listed as ECON 210), MATH 218 (Probability), MATH 222 (Scientific Computing), and MATH 396 (Mathematical Statistics).

Some examples of courses that may fulfill part (C) of the requirements for economics majors are the following: ECON 210 (Linear Optimization and Game Theory; cross-listed as MATH 210), ECON 249 (Introduction to Political Economy and Game Theory), ECON 311 (Theory of Non-Cooperative Games), and ECON 312 (General Equilibrium Theory).

The Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics differs from the minors in mathematics and economics in a specific way. The concentration focuses on the complementarities between the two disciplines; the minors in mathematics and economics are designed to provide a basic foundation in each discipline, but not necessarily with an inter-disciplinary orientation.

A student majoring in economics may choose to pursue either the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics or a minor in mathematics, but not both; and a student majoring in mathematics may choose to pursue either the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics or a minor in economics, but not both. A student double-majoring in economics and mathematics may not enroll in the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics.