Does anyone else feel like that Mathematical Economics tag gets abused (https://economics.stackexchange.com/questions/5531/production-theory, Derive a cost production function give prod f, only K, How can I solve for total money spent if I use a non-constant MPC?, etc...)?

I want to see what other people think about the following questions:

1) When is it appropriate to edit posts to remove tags?

2) Should we start to think about writing up some wiki's for some of the tags?

I'm happy to help with both, but I want to see what other people think.

Note: The first question is because I know that the result of the second question won't totally eliminate tag abuse, so some "pruning" will still need to happen.


3 Answers 3


It is always appropriate to edit posts to remove tags, if you think that the tag is misused.

If you don't have enough reputation, your edit will have to be peer reviewed anyways, so there's backup to fall onto.

In the specific case, yes, I agree that especially Mathematical Economics gets misused by undergraduates who see derivatives for the first time.

  • $\begingroup$ cannot a moderator remove all the tag association for this tag? It'll be quicker this way :P $\endgroup$
    – VicAche
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 11:46

As FooBar said, editing for proper tagging is always appropriate and a great way to help the community. Stack Exchange depends upon its community in a very decentralised fashion, so it is appropriate to remove tags whenever they are being misused in your judgement. If others disagree, they can always add them back!

I do not think the way the tag is being used is especially helpful. However, this is partly because the term mathematical economics itself is so broad as to encompass essentially all modern economics. I have gotten the ball rolling by copy-pasting some text from Wikipedia into the Mathematical Econ tag wiki, but others should go ahead and edit and try to find a more focused characterisation for the tag.


70 years after Samuelson's "Foundations of Economic Analysis", it is my impression that "mathematical economics" no longer means "economics expressed using mathematical symbolism" but "economics done with a mathematical rigor acceptable to a mathematician, both in essence and in appearances".

And in economics, for the most part we do not apply such "mathematical rigor" especially as regards "appearances".

Perhaps our tag should reflect the current way the term is used.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If we update the tag to reflect "contains some mathematical expression", we might as well drop it. It will be so broad that it barely adds anything as a tag. Perhaps "Nonmathematical economics" would be a better tag then: After a quick skimming of the 48 posts on the main site, only 3 of those would fit this new tag. $\endgroup$
    – FooBar
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @FooBar That's an unexpected idea which I fully endorse. $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2015 at 0:27

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