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History and differential calculus application’s in the science of Economics: Didactic regards


  • Luis García

    () (Departamento de Economía. Universidad de Los Andes, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Núcleo Universitario Liria, Edificio H, Piso 3, Mérida, Venezuela.)

  • Mar Moreno

    () (Departament de Matemàtica, Universitat de Lleida, Escola Politècnica Superior, Campus Cappont, 25001, Lleida, España.)

  • Edelmira Badillo

    () (Departament de Didàctica de les Matemátiques y les Ciències Experimentals. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Facultat de Ciències de l’Educació, Bellaterra, Edifici G. 08193. España.)

  • Carmen Azcárate

    () (Departament de Didàctica de les Matemátiques. y les Ciències Experimentals. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Facultat de Ciències de l’Educació, Bellaterra, Edifici G. 08193. España.)


This paper presents a brief general history of the derivative and the beginnings and development of the differential calculus in economics, better known as marginal analysis. Moreover, we mention the various notations and interpretations of the derivative that usually appear in textbooks and official curricula for which they have historical value, since they are directly associated with Leibinz and Newton. Next, we show an overview of the derivative by a non-mathematical example in order to justify the introduction of the derivative within the economics framework. Finally, we close with some thoughts and considerations that teachers should take into account when teaching derivatives in the context of economics as well as the semiotic conflicts involved in the process.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis García & Mar Moreno & Edelmira Badillo & Carmen Azcárate, 2011. "History and differential calculus application’s in the science of Economics: Didactic regards," Economía, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (IIES). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales. Universidad de Los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela, vol. 36(31), pages 137-171, January-j.
  • Handle: RePEc:ula:econom:v:36:y:2011:i:31:p:137-171

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    More about this item


    Differential calculus; economy; contextualization.;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General


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