Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The use of mathematics in economics and its effect on a scholar's academic career

Espinosa, Miguel and Rondon, Carlos and Romero, Mauricio (2012): The use of mathematics in economics and its effect on a scholar's academic career.

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Abstract

There has been so much debate on the increasing use of formal methods in Economics. Although there are some studies tackling these issues, those use either a little amount of papers, a small amount of scholars or a short period of time. We try to overcome these challenges constructing a database characterizing the main socio-demographic and academic output of a survey of 438 scholars divided into three groups: Economics Nobel Prize winners; scholars awarded with at least one of six worldwide prestigious economics recognitions; and academic faculty randomly selected from the top twenty economics departments. We give statistical evidence on the increasing trend of number of equations and econometric outputs per article, showing that for each of these variables there have been four structural breaks and three of them have been increasing ones. Therefore, we provide concrete measures of mathematization in Economics. Furthermore, we found that the use and training in mathematics has a positive correlation with the probability of winning a Nobel Prize in certain cases. It also appears that being an empirical researcher as measured by the average number of econometrics outputs has a negative correlation with someone's academic career success.

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