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Understanding the relationship between mathematics and economics


  • Sheila C. Dow


Weintraub's study shows that mathematics does not provide a fixed point of reference for economics. He explains how the notions of rigor and consistency have changed within mathematics over the years, and how it has proved impossible to express mathematics itself as a complete formal system. As a result, we can see more clearly that there is methodological confusion embedded in much applied economics, which gives priority to mathematical expression. In providing this account, Weintraub raises historiographical issues, which we address here--notably who should construct histories, given the normative content of all approaches (including science studies)?

Suggested Citation

  • Sheila C. Dow, 2003. "Understanding the relationship between mathematics and economics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 547-560.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:25:y:2003:i:4:p:547-560
    DOI: 10.1080/01603477.2003.11051379

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John T. Harvey, 1996. "Orthodox Approaches to Exchange Rate Determination: A Survey," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 567-583, July.
    2. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
    3. Stephan Schulmeister, 1988. "Currency speculation and dollar fluctuations," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 41(167), pages 343-365.
    4. repec:mes:jeciss:v:31:y:1997:i:2:p:615-622 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Shinji Takagi, 1991. "Exchange Rate Expectations: A Survey of Survey Studies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(1), pages 156-183, March.
    6. Taylor, Mark P. & Allen, Helen, 1992. "The use of technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 304-314, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel A. Duran, 2007. "Mathematical Needs and Economic Interpretations," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-16.
    2. Nuno Ornelas Martins, 2012. "Mathematics, Science and the Cambridge Tradition," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-2, December.
    3. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2011. "Exploitation and its unintended outcomes. An axiomatic obituary for Marx’s surplus value," MPRA Paper 31792, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Spash, Clive L., 2013. "The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 351-362.
    5. Clive L Spash, 2009. "Social Ecological Economics," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-08, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.

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