Readers of this blog: I’ve finally finished applying to PhD programs and can devote the time this blog needs.
Previously, I’ve posted a few simple, introductory notes to give an overview of some of the basic concepts of economics. I have a few more introductory slides left, but after that, the blog will change rather abruptly.
Economics is largely an exercise in making mathematical models. To help you understand and evaluate these models, as well as make some of your own, I will spend considerable time on mathematics and statistics. You will learn about mathematical proofs and develop the habit of wanting to see one for each new mathematical claim. You will learn everything I am able to teach about statistical methods and data analysis. After this, we can cover economic models in great depth, all the while evaluating their accuracy and the situations to which they apply.
A word of warning: When I say I will “spend considerable time on mathematics,” I really mean it. There will be a lot of math, and some of it is rather advanced.
Don’t worry, though–you will not be forced to memorize arcane rituals and recite them on an exam. I will try to present the concepts as comprehensibly as I can, with links to other sources. You might find this blog a complement to college math–each one makes the other easier and more enjoyable.
Done well, math can be a lot of fun. If you were not “good at math” in high school, or if you did not enjoy it, you’re in good company–mathematicians often have similar complaints. To show you another possibility, hopefully more enjoyable, I will link you to the YouTube channel Numberphile, which gives lively explanations to many mathematical puzzles.