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Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics

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The best-selling, best known text in Mathematical Economics course, Chiang teaches the basic mathematical methods indispensable for understanding current economic literature. The book's patient explanations are written in an informal, non-intimidating style. To underscore the relevance of mathematics to economics, the author allows the economist's analytical needs to motivate the study of related mathematical techniques; he then illustrates these techniques with appropriate economics models. Graphic illustrations often visually reinforce algebraic results. Many exercise problems serve as drills and help bolster student confidence. These major types of economic analysis are covered: statics, comparative statics, optimization problems, dynamics, and mathematical programming. These mathematical methods are introduced: matrix algebra, differential and integral calculus, differential equations, difference equations, and convex sets.

788 pages, Hardcover

First published November 8, 1974

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Alpha C. Chiang

16 books11 followers

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5 stars
244 (47%)
4 stars
134 (25%)
3 stars
78 (15%)
2 stars
35 (6%)
1 star
28 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews
Profile Image for Chaya.
14 reviews2 followers
August 21, 2010
I much prefer the organization of this to Simon & Blume's Mathematics for Economists--although many students may be more comfortable with calculus than linear algebra, putting the linear algebra first is worth the unease. Excellent explanations, sufficient for self-teaching. Good exercises too. I will be hanging on to this one!
Profile Image for Fran.
147 reviews51 followers
January 14, 2010
Note to self: main text for Econ 106: Elements of Mathematical Economics under Prof. Joseph Anthony Y. Lim, First Semester 1996-97, UP School of Economics.

For once in my student life in Diliman I enjoyed a math course because of Alpha Chiang!
Profile Image for Fleur_de_soie.
26 reviews5 followers
July 25, 2015
very good math preparation book for econ major. It could be used to undergraduate text, or graduate review book, since the level is a bit lower.

However, the author is very good at organizing material. Each part is started with an intuitive instruction and is closed with conclusion part which states the limitation with a certain method. So although this is a math book, the words really account, which really helps you to understand.

A book should not be rated simply according to its level. Thus, though it is a easy cake, I would recommend it to anyone wishing to have a concrete math foundation for further econ study. It really use econ theories, especially econ models to explain how to use the methods or theory. In fact, you could almost see all the major models in both Micro and Macro.

The exercises follows each session is a good examination for the important definitions and theory, clearing any misunderstanding in understand the book, which reveals that the author is really good at teaching. The focus of the exercises is in the basics: understand definitions and correctly use theorems or methods. Nothing advanced or technical there.

The reasons I did not give it a five star: the last chapter is so concise and general that I can hardly get anything useful(maybe he really makes efforts in his other book about this topic); you would find it a bit difficult to distinguish vectors and matrices from common letters, since there is no differences in printing in the book(however, the notation in the book really follows common practice which is why I decided to start with this book instead of Simon&Blume); there is no answers for a few chapters.

I read every chapter except the last one carefully and did all the exercises whenever there are answers for them. I really thinks I gain a lot from it. I should say I am confidence with undergraduate math.
Profile Image for Ferenc.
51 reviews
October 19, 2011
What struck me the most with this book is how Professor Chiang takes such care and effort to explain everything in words, as clearly as possible. It is the most readable textbook I've come across on mathematics, it is unpretentious and non-elitist.

I am only interested in empirical research, using statistical techniques, and I was looking for a good book that could prepare me for studies in mathematical statistics, this book covered more than I needed.

For mathematical economists this book covers the minimum amount of mathematics that you need, after this book you can branch out into other specializations such as advanced calculus and real analysis.

If you are a learner who is just after the basics then I would not buy the [expensive] later editions, the older ones are just as good. The main difference between them is that in the later editions he includes some extra advanced material.

Profile Image for Amal Ahmad.
13 reviews
September 5, 2015
Easily the best book on math for economists out there. Professor Chiang does an incredible job of taking you slowly and patiently through laborious concepts - making them feasible and explaining their relevance to economic analysis. Really recommend it for graduate students , especially those like myself with a history of math-phobia!
Profile Image for die María.
88 reviews10 followers
January 3, 2023
Many mathematical economics books are very heavy to follow, and don´t actually aim to the main goal: making the student fully understand the context and mathematics behind it. But this one really is an exception. I think I may be in love with Chiang...
Profile Image for Alexander Whyte.
11 reviews
December 18, 2018
I highly recommend this book if you plan on studying an Economics MSc. I worked through this book during my undergraduate years, so it is not overly complicated. Despite taking several years out before returning to university to undertake my MSc, I still remembered many of the methods presented in this book, which helped me in the compulsory maths and statistics modules.
Profile Image for Ashlee.
15 reviews
March 13, 2008
The standard primer for mathematical economics, for a reason. I've seen it used in both undergrad and graduate coursework.
Profile Image for Shibajee Samaddar.
41 reviews7 followers
September 6, 2019
This is a good textbook. The economic models provided are very good. But this book is of no use to learn mathematics. In fact, the mathematics' section are poorly written.
June 1, 2020
Only issue is they didn't talk about the row echelon way of solving matrix- which is covered in Simon-Blume. It's written in a very informal way, so great for self study. It involves a lot of examples from microeconomics like Duality, Roy's identity, indirect utility functions, expenditure function etc.
797 reviews81 followers
January 12, 2020
Required text for my mathematical methods for economics course. Not bad
1 review
Currently reading
December 14, 2020
just starting now
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Marcos.
9 reviews4 followers
November 29, 2021
Great textbook! This was the main course literature for two of my maths classes that introduced matrix algebra and then focused on optimisation problems, difference/differential equations.
May 30, 2022
Very good book that covers everything one needs to know in Economics math. From an indepth coverage of matrices to static,dynamic analysis and game theory.
Profile Image for Shota.
3 reviews4 followers
November 9, 2011

Profile Image for Edmund.
9 reviews5 followers
May 31, 2013
By a wide margin, the best math-for-econ book out there. Pair it up with some cheap Dover books for further elaboration and you can't go wrong.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews

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