Mathematical Economics

Mathematics and Economics are complementary disciplines. Most branches of modern economics use mathematics and statistics extensively, and some important areas of mathematical research have been motivated by economic problems. Haverford’s area of concentration in mathematical economics enables students in both disciplines to not only gain proficiency in the other, but also to appreciate the ways in which they are related.

Students from a variety of backgrounds and career interests can benefit from completing the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics. For economics students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in economics, a strong mathematical background is essential. For mathematics students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in economics, exposure to advanced economics courses can be invaluable. A strong background in applied mathematics is also an asset for students going on to business school or graduate programs in public policy. Further still, many economics-related jobs in government, business and finance require strong quantitative skills. Students interested in these and many other positions are well-served by the Concentration.

Learning Goals

Students in Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics will:

  • engage in theoretical and empirical analysis of economic problems using formal theoretical and empirical methods.
  • develop tools and techniques, including the use of formal arguments, numerical computations, and empirical analysis, to understand the logic, validity and robustness of various economic ideas.
  • recognize that most branches of modern economics use mathematics and statistics extensively, and that some important areas of mathematical research have been motivated by economic problems.
  • understand the complementarities between the two disciplines to gain proficiency in each, and appreciate the ways in which they are related.


Concentration Requirements

Students enrolling in the Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics must major in either mathematics or economics.

For students majoring in mathematics, the Concentration requires six courses:

  • ECON 204 (Economic Statistics with Calculus) or MATH 203 (Statistical Methods and Their Applications), or any applied statistics course at a higher level offered by the economics or mathematics department.
  • ECON 300 (Intermediate Microeconomics)
  • Two electives in economics from the list of approved courses below.
  • Two electives in mathematics from the list of approved courses below.   (These courses may also be used to fulfill the requirements of the mathematics major.)

For students majoring in economics, the Concentration requires six courses:

  • Three required mathematics courses:
    • MATH 121 (Multivariable Calculus) or MATH 216 (Advanced Calculus)
    • MATH 215 (Linear Algebra)
    • MATH 317 (Analysis I)
  • One elective in mathematics from the list of approved courses.
  • Two electives in economics from the list of approved courses. (These courses may also be used to fulfill the requirements of the economics major.)

Additional Remarks

The Area of Concentration in Mathematical Economics differs from the minors in mathematics and economics in a specific way: it 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 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. 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. 


Approved Electives

The courses listed below can be used to fulfill the mathematics and economics elective requirements.  Not all of the courses listed below are offered every year.  In some years, courses are offered that are not on these lists but that can be used as electives in the concentration.  Students wishing to receive credit for an elective not listed below must obtain approval from the concentration coordinator.

Mathematics Electives

  • MATH 210 Linear Optimization and Game Theory; crosslisted as ECON 210
  • MATH 204 Differential Equations
  • MATH 218 Probability
  • MATH 222 Scientific Computing
  • MATH 318 Analysis II
  • MATH 328 Mathematical Statistics
  • MATH 340 Analysis of Algorithms
  • MATH 360 Mathematical Economics; crosslisted as ECON 360
  • MATH 396 Advanced Topics in Probability and Statistics.
  • MATH 397 Advanced Topics in Applied Mathematics

Economics Electives

  • ECON 210 Linear Optimization and Game Theory; crosslisted as MATH 210
  • ECON 237 Game Theory in Economics
  • ECON 355 Advanced Microeconomics: Uncertainty
  • ECON 360 Mathematical Economics; crosslisted as MATH 360
  • ECON 374 Junior Research Seminar: Topics in Industrial Organization
  • ECON 377 Junior Research Seminar: Political Economy

Concentration Coordinators

Robert Manning
The William H. and Johanna A. Harris Professor of Computational Science, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, and Associate Provost
KINSC H207C

Assistant Professor of Economics
Chase 207