Introduction to quantitative methods for Economists
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 1
- Taught in:
- Full Year
This is an introductory course for first year students with NO A levels mathematics. The course offers essential quantitative skills useful for current and future undergraduate core courses. It covers basic mathematical and statistical concepts. The first component includes topics as: basic algebra, polynomial, logarithmic and exponential functional forms, differentiation and unconstrained and constrained optimisation. The statistics component focuses on descriptive statistics, probability theory.
This is a core for Year 1 students with no A level maths taking BSc Economics and BSc Development Economics and for Year 1 or 2 of students with no A level maths taking a two-subjects degree with Economics. It is a prerequisite for Quantitative Methods for Economists.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:
- Understand laws of indices, roots and surds an perform algebraic manipulation of polynomials, including expanding brackets and collecting like terms and factorisation
- Solve quadratic and cubic equations; understand the role and use of the discriminant and the factor theorem
- Solve simultaneous equations by substitution and elimination, and inequalities
- Perform graphical analysis of functions, sketch curves defined by simple equations, geometrical interpretation of algebraic solution of equations and systems of equation,
- Understand exponential and logarithmic functions and laws of exponentials and logarithms
- Use exponential and logarithmic functions to analyse growth , interest compounding and investment appraisal
- Understand differentiation and higher order derivatives for univariate functions
- Understand partial derivatives and total differentials for multivariate functions
- Demonstrate understanding of and ability to explain the economic applications of differentiation, and use it to formulate economic problems, including elasticities, marginal cost/ benefit, marginal product of labour/capital, marginal utilities.
- Find unconstrained optima of functions with one or more choice variables
- Find constrained optima using the Lagrange multiplier and substitution methods
- Understand and use these techniques to solve problems in economics, such as profit maximisation, cost minimisation or utility optimisation
- Apply descriptive statistics to summarise data and explain basic concepts of probability theory
Method of assessmentAssessment weighting: Exam 100%
- Jacques, I Mathematics for Economics and Business (6th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2009)
- Chiang, A. C. and K. Wainwright Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics (Fourth Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2005).
- Sydasaeter, K. and P Hammond Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis (3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, 2008)
- Renshaw, G. Maths for Economics (2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2009)
- Barrow, M. Statistics for Economics Accounting and Business Studies (5th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2009).