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The Market for Lemmas

Philip Coelho () and James McClure

No 200702, Working Papers from Ball State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: We consider the use of complex mathematics in economics. The evidence suggests that the usage of complex mathematics has escalated significantly over the past half century. The empirical evidence indicates that complex mathematical models in economic theory have generated few operational propositions. However, with only one exception, none of the economics articles that were published in a set of prestigious journals and had 500 or more citations in the journal literature could be considered highly complex using our metrics. In contrast articles in econometrics/statistics that had 500 or more citations in the literature were frequently complex by our metrics. The usage of complex mathematics in the most highly cited articles in economics versus econometrics/statistics was significantly different, both statistically and quantitatively.

Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2007-04, Revised 2007-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-sog
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