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Abstract

Mathematics has become an integral part of 20th century economics. Mathematical techniques that were considered to be on the fringes of economics even a few decades ago are today considered mainstream economics. Economists presented considerable resistance in the past to the encroachment of mathematical methods in economics. This opposition in various forms continues today and may in fact be gaining momentum. This paper documents contemporary criticism of the overuse of mathematics in economics by, eminent mathematical economists and econometricians, especially Nobel laureates.
... This trend has been shown in the university's study plans specializing in applying mathematical tools. The tendency has been identified as "the overuse of mathematics in economics" (Quddus & Rashid, 1994). Economics students do not develop a critical profile because they focus on understanding microeconomics and macroeconomics formulations. ...
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During the twentieth century, Joan Robinson introduced Marx's political economy into academic discussions of economic thought. This article argues that Robinson's work generates a proposal for academic integrity in economic ideas through an ethical vision of Marx's discourse and an epistemic critique of orthodox economic theory. Robinson's research shows that economic theory has been characterized by hiding the interests of the bourgeoisie, consolidating an "unethical behavior". Following Macfarlane's (2009) work on virtue theory, it is possible to identify in Robinson's production virtues that can enhance the academic integrity of economists.
... There is a voluminous literature that is critical of the formalization of economics and what is sometimes referred to as "physics envy" (Mirowski, 1988(Mirowski, , 1989. This modern criticism probably began in earnest with the publication of Paul Samuelson's (1947) Foundations of Economic Analysis although its origins trace back almost a century before (Beed & Kane, 1991;Boulding, 1948;Misak, 2020;Quddus & Rashid, 1994). While this is an important literature that is worthy of careful study and deep reflection, this essay is not of that genre. ...
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The main theme of this essay is that the mathematical revolution in economics precipitated factor flows in the production of academics, wherein able, if not creative, mathematicians moved into economics to earn large rents. This “technical migration” set in motion a counterproductive path dependency from which the discipline may find it difficult to extricate itself. A secondary theme explores the disparate views of Keynes and Schumpeter on economics as an “exact science” and the role that mathematics should play. The seminal question is not whether mathematics is an important tool for economic analysis, because this is not a debatable proposition, but whether the deification of mathematics has come at too high a cost. This cost includes elevating elegance over substance, discounting the importance of other disciplines, and dissuading gifted undergraduates from pursuing advanced study in economics because they do not aspire to be “mathematicians.” JEL Classifications: A22, A23, B31, B41
... He noted that a PhD economist needs to have a solid understanding in the language of mathematics not only to succeed in graduate school but also to succeed in research and in some jobs. The extensive use of mathematics in the education of economists, and in the profession itself, has been a subject of considerable debate for years (Colander, 2005;Colander & Brenner, 1992;Colander & Klamer, 1987;Quddus & Rashid, 1994). The primary concern of this debate is the potential disconnect between the use of advanced mathematical techniques in both theoretical and empirical works, and the need for a deeper understanding of economics in the real world. ...
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This note presents a list of mathematics courses, normally taken at the undergraduate level, which are required or recommended as part of the admissions criteria for all economics PhD programs in the United States. The data in this note were gathered through a survey of PhD program directors, retrieval of data from PhD program websites, and personal conversations with PhD program directors in the United States. All of the data were collected during the spring and summer of 2016.
... Bnt an uMbrtunate by-product of the "quasi religions" adherence to micro foundations and the emphasis on technique has been the construction of' numerous elegant theories with "few interesting results," a "bewildering array" of "monsters" which has taken maeroeconomics away from "data oriented research" (Blanchard 1.992). The emphasis these "monsters" give to excessive mathematical formalism has also come in for considerable criticism (see McCloskey 1994;Quaddus and Rashid 1994). Excessive formalism and analytical rigor at the expense of policy relevance associated with this methodological force has been viewed in a negative light by many notable critics. ...
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Lecture to the memory of Alfred Nobel, December 8, 1983
On the Efficient Use of Mathematics in Economics
  • H Grubel
  • L Roland
Grubel, H. and Roland, L. On the Efficient Use of Mathematics in Economics. Kyklos, 1986, 419-42