Talk:mathematical economics

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This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

A course title does not an entry make. DCDuring TALK 21:38, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Mathematical economics much more than a course title, I would rather call it a science (sense #2). Hekaheka, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Economics might be a science. Mathematical economics is a catch-all warning label for a course in economics that applies relatively sophisticated mathematical methods (whichever have been popular over the past decades) to the subject matter of economics. In many ways this is like "advanced physics" or "theoretical physics". Ie, physics that is more advanced and physics that is more theoretical. Mathematical economics is economics that is more mathematical.
The definition given is complete malarkey. "mathematical aspects of economic systems"? It is of poor quality in part because the contributor couldn't find a dictionary that thought it was worthy of inclusion. The contributor would have hound something adequate at w:Mathematical economics, which shows that it is just a mathematical approach to economics. DCDuring TALK 13:43, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, but if it's not "worthy" of inclusion, in what essential way does it differ from applied ethics, applied mathematics, applied statistics, mathematical analysis, mathematical function program, mathematical game, mathematical logic, mathematical model, financial capital, financial instrument, financial investment, statistical analysis, statistical randomness, physical attractiveness, physical constant, physical examination or tomato juice? --Hekaheka 15:09, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Whether it's worthy I don't know. That's a BP question about CFI. I believe that it doesn't meet CFI. As to the others, we'd have to take them one at a time. I think you'd find that few/no other momolingual dictionaries or glossaries have them (OneLook includes specialized glossaries, too). I'd feel most comfortable going after the financial and statistical ones and "mathematical game", but I'm suspicious of most of them. "Tomato juice" would make it as a regulatory term and might make it also because normally it is only from cooked tomatoes and is subsequently processed. physical examination and physical constant, too, seem to me to be more likely to meet CFI than the others. I don't hunt them down, but stumble on them, this one in the course of excising a Hyphenation header. Many multi-word noun phrases that contain adjectives are suspect, IMO, but the review process is tedious. DCDuring TALK 16:31, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not fully convinced of the reasoning. Every juice is processed by definition, because the plants do not grow juice but fruit, roots etc of which the juice is made. Also, the fact that a term does not appear in a monolingual dictionary does not automatically prove that it should not appear in a multilingual dictionary as ours. In this case mathematical economics does not translate as mathematical + economics into every language. At least in German and Finnish it's rather economic mathematics (Wirtschaftsmathematik and talousmatematiikka). --Hekaheka 14:55, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh has made a BP proposal to create translation-target entries. We already have a thread on tomato juice.
I just want to address whether this entry meets CFI as presently written. The economics, finance, business, management, marketing, statistics, and operations categories are some that I follow. I am not prejudiced against the subject area. I studied economics at a place renowned for its quantitative approach. I still pay a little attention to the field. I have a couple of older texts with these words in their titles. I'm not arguing out of complete ignorance of this field, but the situation is similar in many fields. So parallel arguments could be made that might apply. Is corpus linguistics worth a dictionary entry? DCDuring TALK 16:24, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I would think it is. --Hekaheka 18:28, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
And all of managerial communication, soil mechanics, biomedical optics, and business ethics, auto repair, and Italian cooking, too, then? DCDuring TALK 20:25, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
After two years and more than 20,000 edits the line between keep and delete is still a mystery to me. I once crusaded against Chinese cuisine and lost. Among your examples the line seems to be roughly in the right place, i.e. I would keep the blue ones and not add the reds. --Hekaheka 22:28, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Keep, mathematical + economics is a rought description of what it is, in the same way that fish and chips is essentially made up of fish and chips, but it has to be prepared in a certain way; usually cod, battered and awful greasy chips. Okay, weird analogy but keep. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:00, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

If this were sum of parts, I would expect that either a) there must be some non-mathematical part of economics, or b) this must be a pleonasm for the entire field of economics. Unless one of those is true, weak keep. I never got past Econ 101, but I do recall there being quite a lot of mathematics involved. But that, presumably, was just economics of a mathematical nature, not mathematical economics. Or no? -- Visviva 06:56, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't get that logic. Mostly the term is used as a course and textbook title. Other titles with indistinguishable content are "Quantitative Methods in Economics". The course covers "advanced" quantitative methods used to study many aspects of economics. Much economics does not use such methods. Other than the course/textbook title the term is used in discussions suggesting that economics has become too mathematical or celebrating the rigor brought by math. The use of algebra and calculus and linear programming and game theory in introductory and intermediate economics courses is the use of basic math for the core of the subject. Various other fields of mathematics have been called on (fixed point theorems from topology, stochastic integrals) for specific problems. w:Mathematical economics is OK on the topic. DCDuring TALK 11:08, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I guess it comes down to whether the definition is accurate. If this is in fact a sub-discipline or sub-field of economics -- that is, if there is such a thing as a economist who uses math but is not a mathematical economist -- then it seems non-SOP to me.
However, if the first sentence of the Wikipedia article is accurate, then this seems deletable, yea even deleterious and worthy of our deletorious attention: "Mathematical economics refers to the application of mathematical methods to represent economic theories and analyze problems posed in economics." That would seem to describe an aspect of economics rather than a subdiscipline. -- Visviva 11:57, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikt and WP are the only references at OneLook that carry this. Does the OED have it? DCDuring TALK 15:42, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
It does not, though I wouldn't really have expected it to. Multiword academic terminology is not the OED's strongest area. At any rate, I am finding the lack of any mathematical economics associations (and the relative paucity of journals) very telling. It was easy for me to imagine that "mathematical economics" might have taken on a life of its own in the same way that "applied linguistics" has done... but who ever heard of a subdiscipline without an association? Changing to weak delete, absent some evidence that our definition is correct and the pedia's is wrong or incomplete. -- Visviva 17:04, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Good analysis Visviva; I based my vote solely on the current definition. If that definition is wrong, obviously I'd have to change my vote. Mglovesfun (talk) 07:47, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
At least a Journal of Mathematical Economics [1] exists. BGC search yields a large number of book titles. There are doctoral and major programs in it [2]. SOP or not SOP, it's clearly more than a mere course title. --Hekaheka 21:00, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
No argument here. From what I've seen so far, it seems that this is an aspect of economics, rather than a distinct discipline. As such, it can be used quite a lot (and clearly is), without really signifying anything more than "economics with kind of a math focus". -- Visviva 09:50, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Kept, consensus. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:58, 10 October 2009 (UTC)