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The use of mathematics in economics and its effect on a scholar's academic career

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  • Espinosa, Miguel
  • Rondon, Carlos
  • Romero, Mauricio

Abstract

There has been so much debate on the increasing use of formal methods in Economics. Although there are some studies tackling these issues, those use either a little amount of papers, a small amount of scholars or a short period of time. We try to overcome these challenges constructing a database characterizing the main socio-demographic and academic output of a survey of 438 scholars divided into three groups: Economics Nobel Prize winners; scholars awarded with at least one of six worldwide prestigious economics recognitions; and academic faculty randomly selected from the top twenty economics departments. We give statistical evidence on the increasing trend of number of equations and econometric outputs per article, showing that for each of these variables there have been four structural breaks and three of them have been increasing ones. Therefore, we provide concrete measures of mathematization in Economics. Furthermore, we found that the use and training in mathematics has a positive correlation with the probability of winning a Nobel Prize in certain cases. It also appears that being an empirical researcher as measured by the average number of econometrics outputs has a negative correlation with someone's academic career success.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41341.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41341

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Keywords: Nobel Prize; Mathematics; Economics; Reputation;

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References

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  1. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Debreu, Gerard, 1986. "Theoretical Models: Mathematical Forms and Economic Content," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1259-70, November.
  3. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "International evidence on the historical properties of business cycles," Staff Report 145, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. William L. Goffe & Robert P. Parks, 1997. "The Future Information Infrastructure in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
  5. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "What is the Econometric Society? History, Organization, and Basic Procedures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1443-1452, November.
  6. John McMillan & Drucilla Ekwurzel, 2001. "Economics Online," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 7-10, March.
  7. David Colander, 2005. "The Making of an Economist Redux," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 175-198, Winter.
  8. Jushan Bai, 1995. "Estimating Multiple Breaks One at a Time," Working papers 95-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Anderson, Gary M. & Goff, Brian L. & Tollison, Robert D., 1986. "The Rise and (Recent) Decline of Mathematical Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 44-48, June.
  10. Grubel, Herbert G & Boland, Lawrence A, 1986. "On the Efficient Use of Mathematics in Economics: Some Theory, Facts and Results of an Opinion Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 419-42.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Mathematics, Econometrics and the top economist's career outcomes
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-08 14:15:00
  2. 10 Tuesday PM Reads
    by Barry Ritholtz in The Big Picture on 2012-10-09 20:30:35
  3. Mathematics, Economics, & the Nobel Prize
    by Dave Giles in Econometrics Beat: Dave Giles' Blog on 2012-10-09 18:55:00
  4. [??]???????????????????????????????????
    by himaginary in himaginaryの日記 on 2012-10-19 07:00:00

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