Mathematics for Economists 2019 – 2020

Lecturer & Contact:

YANG, Ziyan, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, Office:D313, Eco Building, Xiamen University. Homepage:

Prerequisites and co-requisites:

Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, basic principles of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Aims of the course:

The purpose of the course is to provide students the mathematical tools for graduate study and research in economics. This course is designed to study the mathematical theory of optimization, which are most frequently used in economic models of the firm and consumer behavior.

Learning outcomes and competences: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to explain and work with:

  • understand the theoretical part of most current journal articles in economics
  • develop theoretical framework in mathematical format to interpret real-life phenomena
  • be prepared for economics study in future graduate-level courses using a wide range of mathematical techniques
  • develop a set of problem-solving and analytical skills to solve real-life problems

Course content:

Introduction to necessary and sufficient conditions for constrained optimization, the role of convexity and concavity in optimization and comparative statics

 Assessment methods: 

  • Problem Sets 15%
  • In-Class Activities/Quizzes 15%
  • Exam 1 15%
  • Exam 2 20%
  • Exam 3 20%
  • Research Project ,Module Assignments 15%


  • A.K. Dixit, Optimization in Economic Theory (2nd ed), Oxford, Oxford University Press,1990.
  • R.K. Sundaram, A First Course in Optimization Theory, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • K. Sydsaeter, P. Hammond, and A. Strom, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis,Pearson Education Limited 2012
  • K. Sydsaeter, P. Hammond, A. Seierstad and A. Strom, Further Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Harlow, Prentice Hall, 2005.
  • William Thomson, A Guide for the Young Economist (2nd ed.), Cambridge, MIT Press, 2011.