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The Market for Lemmas

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  • Philip R. P. Coelho

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

  • James E. McClure

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

Abstract

We consider the use of complex mathematics in economics. The evidence suggests that the usage of complex mathematics has escalated significantly over the past half century. The empirical evidence indicates that complex mathematical models in economic theory have generated few operational propositions. However, with only one exception, none of the economics articles that were published in a set of prestigious journals and had 500 or more citations in the journal literature could be considered highly complex using our metrics. In contrast articles in econometrics/statistics that had 500 or more citations in the literature were frequently complex by our metrics. The usage of complex mathematics in the most highly cited articles in economics versus econometrics/statistics was significantly different, both statistically and quantitatively.

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File URL: http://econfac.iweb.bsu.edu/research/workingpapers/bsuecwp200702coelho.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ball State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200702.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision: Apr 2007
Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:200702

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  1. Cohen, Susan I., 1980. "Incentives, iterative communication, and organizational control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 37-55, February.
  2. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1980. "The overlapping-generations model, I: The case of pure exchange without money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-306, December.
  3. Littlechild, S. C. & Owen, G., 1980. "An Austrian model of the entrepreneurial market process," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 361-379, December.
  4. Frank Hindriks, 2005. "Unobservability, tractability and the battle of assumptions," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 383-406.
  5. Dubey, Pradeep, 1980. "Nash equilibria of market games: Finiteness and inefficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 363-376, April.
  6. Leontief, Wassily, 1971. "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-7, March.
  7. Green, Edward J., 1980. "Noncooperative price taking in large dynamic markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-182, April.
  8. Donald F. Gordon, 1955. "Operational Propositions in Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 150.
  9. Hausman, Daniel M, 1989. "Economic Methodology in a Nutshell," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 115-27, Spring.
  10. McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
  11. Gaines, Robert E., 1980. "Existence of solutions to Hamiltonian dynamical systems of economic growth with marxian savings hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-14, August.
  12. Kleinberg, Norman L., 1980. "Fair allocations and equal incomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 189-200, October.
  13. Makowski, Louis, 1980. "A characterization of perfectly competitive economies with production," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 208-221, April.
  14. Philip R. P. Coelho & James E. McClure, 2005. "Theory versus Application: Does Complexity Crowd Out Evidence?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 556-565, January.
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