Maths in Economics degrees

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econhelp525
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#1
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Hey,

I'm studying Economics & Econometrics at York, which more or less after first year is quite mathematical. However, I had a flick through some past papers, and didn't see any trigonometry at all. I was just curious, does trigonometry appear in economics much, perhaps at a graduate level? Or maybe some other universities include trigonometry in their courses?

Thanks
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BenRyan99
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#2
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(Original post by econhelp525)
Hey,

I'm studying Economics & Econometrics at York, which more or less after first year is quite mathematical. However, I had a flick through some past papers, and didn't see any trigonometry at all. I was just curious, does trigonometry appear in economics much, perhaps at a graduate level? Or maybe some other universities include trigonometry in their courses?

Thanks
I've done a BSc in econometrics and mathematical economics and nah trig isn't really in economics at all, it's one of the maths a-level topics that's basically irrelevant to Econ at undergrad and postgrad. It's mainly calculus, linear algebra and regression (cross-sectional, time-series and panel). The only time I can really thing of trig arising is if your uni course covers the separating hyperplane theorem of some spectral analysis but most unis don't cover this or cover it at postgrad.

At the top unis you'll do some more advanced maths topics like real analysis, measure theory, dynamic programming, graph theory, etc.
Last edited by BenRyan99; 1 year ago
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econhelp525
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
I've done a BSc in econometrics and mathematical economics and nah trig isn't really in economics at all, it's one of the maths a-level topics that's basically irrelevant to Econ at undergrad and postgrad. It's mainly calculus, linear algebra and regression (cross-sectional, time-series and panel). The only time I can really thing of trig arising is if your uni course covers the separating hyperplane theorem of some spectral analysis but most unis don't cover this or cover it at postgrad.

At the top unis you'll do some more advanced maths topics like real analysis, measure theory, dynamic programming, graph theory, etc.
Ah, okay! Yeah, from what I've seen in the syllabus at York, it's mostly calculus, linear algebra, and all that's entailed in econometrics. Not really far enough into my degree to know whether or not real analysis is taught yet, but I think I recall seeing a past paper from like 2004 on it. Just wanted to check that it wasn't just my uni omitting things that I might need in the future. Thanks!
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by econhelp525)
Ah, okay! Yeah, from what I've seen in the syllabus at York, it's mostly calculus, linear algebra, and all that's entailed in econometrics. Not really far enough into my degree to know whether or not real analysis is taught yet, but I think I recall seeing a past paper from like 2004 on it. Just wanted to check that it wasn't just my uni omitting things that I might need in the future. Thanks!
Yeah I really wouldn't worry about it or overthink it. I think real analysis is only really taught in an undergrad Econ course at LSE. Perhaps Cambridge, UCL and Warwick you may be able to take it as an optional, not sure but generally real analysis isn't covered at UK undergrad economics courses so you've got nothing to worry about.

In terms of uni courses omitting topics you may need in the future, this massively depends on what you want to do in the future. A lot of these topics we've mentioned (such as RA) are basically only ever useful if you want to go into academia economics, pretty much any Econ of non-econ career these topics are useless haha so I definitely wouldn't worry about it. Like I don't wanna do a PhD or anything so I sorta wish I did some more interesting and/or useful topics than things like real analysis of graph theory.
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manwhoreadsabook
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The York degree covers some more advanced highly technical mathematical topics in the optional econometric theory modules in second year, and econometric methods for research (joint undergrad-masters module) in third year. For example, you study some real analysis topics in the context of the asymptotic properties of statistical estimators like MLE and OLS
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econhelp525
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(Original post by man*****adsabook)
The York degree covers some more advanced highly technical mathematical topics in the optional econometric theory modules in second year, and econometric methods for research (joint undergrad-masters module) in third year. For example, you study some real analysis topics in the context of the asymptotic properties of statistical estimators like MLE and OLS
Hi, thanks for your reply. I just finished term 1, and definitely agree! ET1 is a lot of fun, and really technical.
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by man*****adsabook)
The York degree covers some more advanced highly technical mathematical topics in the optional econometric theory modules in second year, and econometric methods for research (joint undergrad-masters module) in third year. For example, you study some real analysis topics in the context of the asymptotic properties of statistical estimators like MLE and OLS
Technically you're right in the sense asymptotics is technically included as a real analysis topic, as are limits for that matter. But I wouldn't say that covering these topics means you've properly studied real analysis if that makes sense. For example, here is a module on RA that most 2nd year students at my uni studied to give an idea of the topics involved.

Asymptotic theory is covered in most 2nd & 3rd year econometrics modules if you study economics at an above average university. Regardless, real analysis isn't very useful unless you plan on either studying a master's at an elite uni, or you plan on doing an economics PhD, outside of these then it's useless beyond your uni exams so I certainly wouldn't worry about it. In fact, most academic economics isn't particularly useful even when working as an actual economist beyond general micro/macro/stats principles.
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