Basic economics and mathematical economics recommended books

I would like to have a list of books on basic economics and mathematical economics. My background is in physics and math, and I would like to approach a critique to modern day economics from a mathematical perspective but I don't know much about economics besides a partial reading of the Capital by Marx and common sense.

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  • Nicholas Anderson
    commented 2017-12-20 20:59:26 -0500
    In my experience of the three major schools of thought Marx tends to use math the least, at least to attempt to justify how the market works. Neo-Classical focuses on microeconomics which essentially boils every aspect of the economy down to individual action. They represent economic decisions as a spectrum, between maximizing opportunity and utility. Keynesian economics takes the opposite approach. That the system drives individual decisions not the other way around. This is the conventional form of Macroeconomics and focus on the structural influence of an economy on individual choices. Both of these schools of thought are reductionist(they try to boil down economic phenomenon to a binary solution). This makes mathematics the popular form of expression for both schools of thought, but also skews the resulting conclusion. An attempt to reconcile these differences in capitalist analysis is the field of study often referred to as econometrics. Based on your background I suspect that you would find this subject the most interesting. This is the combined application of math and theory that tends to shape the system we use. Be aware however that these ideas are not the focus of Marx’s work. The math in these instances is used to justify, quantify and refine capitalism, not an alternative system.

    While I cannot give you a specific book to read, you will find plenty of material under the label of Econometrics. If you encounter any Marxist or Socialist writing that apply mathmatics in a meaningful way I would greatly appreciate the information.
  • Leandro Fosque
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-12-20 17:09:45 -0500