ECON 484

Welcome to Mathematical Economics (ECON 484).

This is a clone of the main page for our ECON 484 course this semester, and the actual mainpage is available at the [ following link]. Some material will be available on Blackboard, but I will try to be clear about when this is the case.

[[file syllabus.pdf | Syllabus]]


This webpage is built on wikidot, which will allow you to build your own content on many pages. I will be requiring you to build content for portions of this course which will be available to others to see. I want you all to collaborate on work by posting notes, questions, and links. Also, I will be posting a great deal of material here for you to see and comment on. I am taking a very “open-source” view to this course, so try to remain patient if there are any glitches along the way.

Course Calendar

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Here you will find course materials as well as many links to required readings. For this course we will be using //R// and //Mathematica// to work through a number of examples from the textbook. //R// and //Mathematica// are very different than //SAS// which most of you should be familiar with from your Econometrics (ECON 385) courses.

+ R

//R// is free software used for statistical computing and graphics. While //SAS// is very powerful software for running prepackaged econometric estimations, //R// can perform many advanced features that you cannot easily do in //SAS//.[[footnote]] To be fair, //SAS// is probably able to do almost everything we are going to do with SAS, but as an experienced user of SAS I can tell you that it can be like trying to hammer a nail with a screwdriver to do the same work in SAS that you can do in //R//. [[/footnote]] We are only going to scratch the surface of what you can do with //R//, but I hope that you are able to apply what you learn here beyond this course. //R// is open-source software, meaning it is free for you to use for almost any purpose (except redistribution in many cases) and on any platform (Mac, PC, Linux). For those considering graduate work in economics or another mathematically inclined field, you will be able to use //R// without the restriction of having to pay for it. //SAS// is very expensive, and is not provided by many employers. The primary benefit of //R// is the community of open-source programmers who help expand the software. We will use //R// to experiment with algorithms, matrix manipulation, and Monte Carlo simulation.

++ Required Readings
[ An Introduction to R].

+++ Downloads
[ Statconn’s RAndFriends] will install R on your computer, as well as a tool building on Excel called RExcel. We won’t be using RExcel in class, but I may show you some examples in class that you can experiment with.

+ Mathematica
//Mathematica// is software that is used for a wide variety of mathematical and economic purposes including running simulations, solving linear algebra problems, performing regression analysis, building models, to name only a few. //Mathematica// is incredibly powerful and will help you to check through taking derivations, solving integrals, examining non-linear problems, and graphically displaying your work. As with //R// we will only begin to touch on what //Mathematica// can do.

++ Required Readings
[ Mathematica Solutions to Economics Site] [ Hands on Start to Mathematica] and [ Part 2 of Hands on Start to Mathematica].

A more detailed short [ “course” in Mathematica] is also available. I’m told this course costs under $30, but I haven’t tried it so you may have different results.

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