Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis (5th Edition)
Book Preface
The subject matter that modern economics students are expected to master makes significant mathematical demands. This is true even of the less technical “applied” literature that students will be expected to read for courses in fields such as public finance, industrial organization, and labour economics, amongst several others. Indeed, the most relevant literature typically presumes familiarity with several important mathematical tools, especially calculus for functions of one and several variables, as well as a basic understanding of multivariable optimization problems with or without constraints. Linear algebra is also used to some extent in economic theory, and a great deal more in econometrics. The purpose of Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, therefore, is to help economics students acquire enough mathematical skill to access the literature that is most relevant to their undergraduate study. This should include what some students will need to conduct successfully an undergraduate research project or honours thesis.
As the title suggests, this is a book on mathematics, whose material is arranged to allow progressive learning of mathematical topics. That said, we do frequently emphasize economic applications, many of which are listed on the inside front cover. These not only help motivate particular mathematical topics; we also want to help prospective economists acquire mutually reinforcing intuition in both mathematics and economics. Indeed, as the list of examples on the inside front cover suggests, a considerable number of economic concepts and ideas receive some attention.
We emphasize, however, that this is not a book about economics or even about mathematical economics. Students should learn economic theory systematically from other courses, which use other textbooks. We will have succeeded if they can concentrate on the economics in these courses, having already thoroughly mastered the relevant mathematical tools this book presents.
Special Features and Accompanying Material
Virtually all sections of the book conclude with exercises, often quite numerous. There are also many review exercises at the end of each chapter. Solutions to almost all these exercises are provided at the end of the book, sometimes with several steps of the answer laid out. There are two main sources of supplementary material. The first, for both students and their instructors, is via MyMathLab. Students who have arranged access to this web site for our book will be able to generate a practically unlimited number of additional problems which test how well some of the key ideas presented in the text have been understood. More explanation of this system is offered after this preface. The same web page also has a “student resources” tab with access to a Solutions Manual with more extensive answers (or, in the case of a few of the most theoretical or difficult problems in the book, the only answers) to problems marked with the special symbol SM .
The second source, for instructors who adopt the book for their course, is an Instructor’s Manual that may be downloaded from the publisher’s Instructor Resource Centre. In addition, for courses with special needs, there is a brief online appendix on trigonometric functions and complex numbers. This is also available via MyMathLab.
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