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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Espinosa, Miguel & Rondon, Carlos & Romero, Mauricio, 2012. "The use of mathematics in economics and its effect on a scholar's academic career," MPRA Paper 41341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41341
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    3. 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.
    4. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1992. "International Evidence of the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 864-888, September.
    5. David Colander, 2005. "The Making of an Economist Redux," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 175-198, Winter.
    6. 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 419-442.
    7. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "What is the Econometric Society? History, Organization, and Basic Procedures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1443-1452, November.
    8. Bai, Jushan, 1997. "Estimating Multiple Breaks One at a Time," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 315-352, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Rader, Trout, 1972. "Theory of Microeconomics," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780125750509, December.
    11. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    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 19:15:00
    2. 10 Tuesday PM Reads
      by Barry Ritholtz in The Big Picture on 2012-10-10 01:30:35
    3. Mathematics, Economics, & the Nobel Prize
      by Dave Giles in Econometrics Beat: Dave Giles' Blog on 2012-10-09 23:55:00
    4. [経済]経済学における数学の使用、ならびにそれが経済学者のキャリアに与える影響
      by himaginary in himaginaryの日記 on 2012-10-19 12:00:00

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nobel Prize; Mathematics; Economics; Reputation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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