For questions regarding the mathematical analysis of economic models and problems. This includes questions about the formulation or solution of models from microeconomics or macroeconomics.

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15
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4answers
6k views

What exactly does it mean for a function to be “well-behaved”?

Often in my studies (economics) the assumption of a "well-behaved" function will be invoked. I don't exactly know what that entails (I think twice continuously differentiability is one of the ...
13
votes
11answers
5k views

Which 4 maths courses to take as an Economics PhD student?

I am doing a PhD in economics and I have the chance of taking one subject a semester in the maths department (I would like to do more, but "unfortunately" I have to work on my thesis). I want to have ...
13
votes
2answers
495 views

Pure mathematics in our society

Is there some book or essay which deals with the sociological and economical justification of doing and funding pure mathematics? I'm looking for a modern version of Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology, ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Motivating linear algebra for economics students?

I'm a tutor for the introductory linear algebra course at my school; this course is required for most upper division economics classes, so a lot of my tutees are economics majors. This is a typical ...
10
votes
2answers
682 views

Can someone explain Cremer-Mclean's astonishing result in auction theory?

In mechanism design/auction theory, there is a famous result by Cremer and Mclean that if agents'/bidders' valuations are even slightly correlated, then all the surplus can be extracted by the ...
10
votes
1answer
371 views

A (mathematically) sound investment strategy

It is common wisdom in the investment community that a long-term investor saving for his future would do well to invest in high-risk/high-return assets when he is young, slowly switching his portfolio ...
8
votes
1answer
261 views

Modelling risk when market making

I'm interested in learning about algorithmic trading, particularly in bitcoin. Looking at this chart, I can see that I could simultaneously offer a bid that was slightly higher than the highest ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Existence of a utility function on the reals

Suppose I have $\preceq$, a total order on $\mathbb R^n$. I wish to show that there is a utility function $u:\mathbb R^n\to\mathbb R$ such that $x\preceq y \leftrightarrow u(x)\leq u(y)$. I came up ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

How many dollars does it take to be rich?

This is probably a dumb economics question since I don't know anything about that subject beyond a few buzzwords (but I do know a little math). I'm trying to figure out how many dollars it takes to ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Invariance of strategy-proof social choice function when peaks are made close from solution

A question emerging from reading Schummer, J., & Vohra, R. V. (2002). Strategy-proof Location on a Network. Journal of Economic Theory, 104(2), 405–428. The setting is as follows: A finite set ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

How to minimize game night transactions?

Me and a number of friends occasionally met up and play some game (often pool or some card game) and play for small stakes to give the game a little extra spice. After each round we jot down the ...
5
votes
1answer
275 views

Olympic Badminton, or How to Design a Tournament

Hearing the recent news about disqualified Badminton players in the ongoing 2012 London Olympics got me wondering about how best to design tournaments to avoid situations where players are ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Understanding the Leontief inverse

What I remember from economics about input/output analysis is that it basically analyses the interdependencies between business sectors and demand. If we use matrices we have $A$ as the input-output ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Measure of value of resources in a competitive game

Let we have a competitive survival game in which a player has choice between different resources to earn. The question here is which resource should he prefer to maximize the chance of survival. I ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

When do $\epsilon$-Nash equilibrium strategies converge to Nash equilibrium strategies?

Suppose I have a game on $n$ players and a sequence of strategy profiles $(s_1^{(1)},\dots,s_n^{(1)}), (s_1^{(2)},\dots,s_n^{(2)}), (s_1^{(3)},\dots,s_n^{(3)}), \dots$. Each ...
5
votes
0answers
231 views

Open Problem in Fixed Point Theory [Prize]

This open problem appeared on the bulletins of Evans Hall at Berkeley this week. I hope this doesn't violate StackExchange policy (the solution carries a $500 prize), but I thought why not re-post ...
4
votes
3answers
184 views

How practically relevant is game theory?

I usually don't care too much about the practical relevance of nice mathematics :-) But this time, as I am looking to find some areas where I can apply maths and possibly collaborate with ...
4
votes
2answers
420 views

Are the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions applicable when one or more of the constraints are nonlinear?

I am just beginning to read about the use of "Concave Programming" methods and use of the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions to identify the maximum value of a non-linear objective function subject to ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Does Arrow's Theorem apply when choosing a single best candidate?

According to Wiki, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem proves that we cannot create a social welfare function that obeys unanimity, non-dictatorship, and IIA. However, in real elections, we want to choose ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Cournot Nash Equilibrium Between Two Firms

Suppose we have two firms with specialized, but similar products. Suppose market demand for the two products is: $$p_1(q_1,q_2)=a-bq_1-dq_2$$ $$p_2(q_1,q_2)=a-bq_2-dq_1$$ where $d \in (-b,b)$. Suppose ...
4
votes
2answers
803 views

Slope of a nonlinear curve at a single point

This part of my microeconomics lesson plan has me baffled. Consider for example the nonlinear continuous and differentiable function Y = f(X) = X 2 + 4. Suppose we want to know its slope at the ...
4
votes
3answers
126 views

Is there any research field dedicated to estimating a “game” itself in game theory?

Game theory stuffs usually provide how a "game" works and then tries to figure out solutions - but I am wondering if there is any research field dedicated to estimating the full rules of a game. So ...
4
votes
2answers
293 views

Majoring in maths

Does majoring in mathematics with economics (with emphasis on mathematics) have good career prospects? Does anyone know something about this course?
4
votes
1answer
484 views

Gibbard–Satterthwaite Theorem versus Arrow Theorem

Arrow Theorem is a very classical result in social choice theory, stating very roughly that any reasonable voting procedure is either dictatorial or subject to tactical voting. More precisely, there ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Is functional integration useful in theoretical economics?

Definition of functional integration here Functional integration is a collection of results in mathematics and physics where the domain of an integral is no longer a region of space, but a ...
4
votes
1answer
602 views

Lower hemicontinuity of the intersection of lower hemicontinuous correspondences

I have been stumped for long by this exercise (3.12(d)) from Stokey and Lucas's Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics. Would greatly appreciate any hints. Let $\phi: X \to Y$ and $\psi: X \to Y$ be ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Expected revenue obtained by the Vickery auction with reserve price $1/2$

I would like to prove that the expected revenue of the Vickery auction with reserve price $1/2$ is $5/12$ when there are one item and two bidders the distribution of valuations are uniformly between ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Increasing marginal product implies increasing returns to scale?

Setup Let $f(x,y)$ be twice differentiable in both $x$ and $y$. Assume $\partial f/\partial x>0,\partial f/\partial y>0$ for $x,y>0$. $f$ is said to have increasing marginal product of ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

What does Arrow's theorem say about Kaldor-Hicks social welfare functions with von Neumann-Morgenstern utility?

Let $A$ be the set of all possible states of the world, let $G(A)$ be the set of all "lotteries" or "gambles", i.e. the set of all probability distributions over $A$. Now consider an individual with ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Shapley value: an alternative representation

It is my belief that the more common representation of the Shapley value is given by $$ \phi_i(v)=\sum_{S\subseteq N-i} \frac{|S|!(|N|-|S|-1)!}{|N|!}(v(S\cup\{i\})-v(S)) $$ where $v \in ...
4
votes
1answer
740 views

Finding mixed Nash equilibria in continuous games

I'm taking my first (graduate-level) game theory class. I understand how to find Nash equilibria in simple games, such as those given in finite tables, and can see (usually) how to find the mixed ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

How to solve a non-homogeneous second-order linear difference equation with both a forward and a backward difference?

Quite a long title for this: I'm looking for the general solution of the following difference equation: $$ax_{t+1} -bx_t + x_{t-1} = c + u_t$$ where $a,b,c$ are real constants and $u_t$ is a bounded ...
3
votes
3answers
810 views

Using the definition of a concave function prove that $f(x)=4-x^2$ is concave (do not use derivative).

Let $D=[-2,2]$ and $f:D\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ be $f(x)=4-x^2$. Sketch this function.Using the definition of a concave function prove that it is concave (do not use derivative). Attempt: ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

An algorithm for arbitrage in currency exchange

I found a really interesting problem and I wanted to hear people's opinion. It has to do with currency exchange rate. If we are give some coins $c_1,c_2,\dots,c_n$ and an array $R$ that keeps the ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Mistake wikipedia article on St petersburg paradox?

I suspect that there is a mistake in the wikipedia article on the St petersburg paradox, and I would like to see if I am right before modifying the article. In the section "Solving the paradox", the ...
3
votes
2answers
223 views

Exercise in Mechanism Design

I found an exercise with solution in the field of Mechanism Design. The problem is I don't understand the solution. Exercise. Use the characterization of incentive compatible direct-revelation ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

Functions minimized at the median of their arguments

I am doing research on problems of location of a public facility on a network which lead me to the following question. Is there an interesting way to characterize the class of functions $f : ...
3
votes
1answer
992 views

What's the most straight-forward way to prove Walras's Law?

Walras' Law states that summation of pi Ei(p) = 0 for all pi. We define Ei(p) = xi(p) - qi(p) - Ri. What are the next steps that I should take?
3
votes
1answer
403 views

Nash equilibrium question

(Hotelling’s voting model) Consider a population of voters uniformly distributed along the ideological spectrum from left (x = 0) to right (x = 1). There are two candidates i = 1,2 for a single office ...
3
votes
2answers
443 views

Finding best response function with probabilities (BR) given a normal-matrix representation of the game

We are given players 1, 2 and their respective strategies (U, M, D for player 1, L, C, R for player 2) and the corresponding pay-offs through the following table: $\begin{matrix} 1|2 & L & C ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is that a risk averse consumer buys the optimum insurance when there is actuarially fair insurance?

I've asked the same question at the Quantitative Finance StackExchange. Consider the following example: "As a risk-averse consumer, you would want to choose a value of x so as to maximize expected ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

No theft model of corruption

Consider the model of corruption explored by Shleifer and Vishni’s where there is one government-produced good $X$. There is a demand for that good described by the inverse demand equation $$Q_d = 10 ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

Substituting total derivative d for partial derivative \partial

In economic models it seems to be commonplace to substitute a total derivative derived from one equation, say $\frac{d k}{d \tau}$, for the partial derivative derived from another equation, say ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Constraining estimated linear regression coefficients over several regressions

I'm trying to run a series of simultaneous linear regressions, and I want to constrain the regression coefficients. For the standard ordinary least squares regression, the specification of the ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Wealth indicator function for bidder agent logic

I want to create a wealth indicator function used by the logic of a bidder agent, that tells the agent if he's rich (in comparison to others). Given: Total number of competitors $n$ Amount of all ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Stability under supremum of sets of social choice function with single peaked preferences

Here is a question emerging from reading Moulin, H. (1980). On strategy-proofness and single peakedness. Public Choice, 35(4), 437–455. The setting is as follows: A non-empty finite set of ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

The Historical Importance of Keynes' A Treatise on Probability

A visiting speaker in Economics recently happened to mention that John Maynard Keynes' A Treatise on Probability revolutionized probability theory. I have not heard any such claim before and it struck ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Existence of asymmetric equilibria in the dollar auction game

Consider a game in which an auctioneer sells one dollar to the highest bidder. The high bidder wins the dollar, but every bidder pays their bid. Concretely, assume that there are two bidders ...
3
votes
0answers
121 views

Optimal strategy in a VCG auction with partial collusion?

Suppose you control the bid prices in a multiple-item VCG auction for a partial coalition of bidders. Each bidder is only allowed to win one item out of the set of multiple items, which are all ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

Optimal tax rate

Suppose you have two countries A and B, with a tax rate $T_A$ and $T_B$, respectively. The tax is redistributed to all people equally. Hence if you live in A and you make $I$ as income then you will ...