Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Are there books or papers where economics is formalized and studied very rigorously? I am very interested in this topic. I would preferably like free online books and/or papers, but that is not necessary.

share|cite|improve this question
I guess you mean with statistics? – John Fernley Jun 28 '14 at 10:54
What are you looking for exactly? A lot of the more advanced stuff is very mathematical, just look at any book on macroeconomic or microeconomic theory... – hejseb Jun 28 '14 at 10:59
I am looking for an axiomatic approach, not merely a computational one, to economics. – user107952 Jun 28 '14 at 11:01
I still think that a lot of the macroeconomic and microeconomic theory books that are out there are what it sounds like you're asking for. I mean utility functions are mathematical functions, so a lot of what you do is mathematical in nature with interpretations that mean something in terms of economics. As long as you don't estimate models, there is no computational aspect to it either. I'm just saying it's hard to answer your question as economics is a quite mathematical subject to begin with. – hejseb Jun 28 '14 at 14:28
Standard graduate treatment of microeconomics is: Mas-Colell, Whinston, Green (1995): Microeconomic theory. If you are looking for very rigorous papers, check out articles in the Journal of Mathematical Economics (recent ones, the old ones (80s and prior) are on today's "normal" level). – Nameless Jul 4 '14 at 14:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Be careful of what you wish for... Bernt Stigun's book "Towards a Formal Science of Economics: The Axiomatic Method in Economics" probably goes above and beyond of what you had in mind when asking for rigor. He starts with mathematical logic (first-order languages)...

Also I have a vague impression some research in "epistemic game theory" may use the axiomatic approach but I might be wrong.

share|cite|improve this answer
Yes, that is exactly what I want. – user107952 Jun 30 '14 at 8:03

Gerard Debreu's Theory of Value provides a mathematically rigorous analysis of the theory of general equilibrium in economics. It is considered a classic by many economists and won the author a Nobel Prize in Economics.

Here's the link to the pdf of the monograph:

share|cite|improve this answer

Axiomatic Theory of Economics, 1999, by Victor Aguilar

This is a short 26-page simplified exposition written at the undergraduate level:

share|cite|improve this answer

You might be interested in Economics for mathematicians by Cassels. It is more focused on what mathematicians find interesting, rather than what economists find useful.

share|cite|improve this answer

You can check the Handbook of mathematical economics edited by Michael Intriligator, Kenneth Arrow.

In general, the Handbooks in Economics contains several interesting topics.

Handbooks page

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.