IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Revisiting the Derivative: Implications on the Rate of Change Analysis


  • Khumalo, Bhekuzulu


The aim of this paper is to raise concerns with the mathematical concept of the derivative as we know it. It raises concerns of accuracy. The paper is kept as simple as possible, solutions are always meant to be as simple as possible to be easily understood. The paper looks at linear and polynomial functions to illustrate that the derivative is not as precise as it should be, and in some instances can be considered almost a relic, though the solutions that are derived consider the simple derivative. It is the nature of polynomial functions that lead to the derivative not to be accurate and this paper clearly shows the shortcomings. The paper ends with a derivative that is accurate and precise, a derivative that when broken down is so simple. The main lesson/ conclusion is that it is all in the function, complex derivatives are not always necessary. This has important implications to all researchers, scientists who use the derivative to predict.

Suggested Citation

  • Khumalo, Bhekuzulu, 2009. "Revisiting the Derivative: Implications on the Rate of Change Analysis," MPRA Paper 12975, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12975

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    derivative; residual; R; khumalo derivative;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12975. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.