Mathematical tools for intermediate economics classes
Iftekher Hossain

Table of Contents

Calculus of Multivariable Functions

Don't drink and do calculus
  1. Functions of several variables

  2. Partial derivatives and the rules of differentiation

  3. Second-order partial derivatives

  4. Use of partial derivatives

  5. Use of partial derivatives: optimization of functions subject to constraints

  6. Use of partial derivatives in economics; some examples

  7. Use of partial derivatives in economics; constrained optimization

  8. Use of multivariable calculus in analyzing the producer behavior

  9. Suggested Readings

These resources do not aim to provide a complete list of examples of the math skills required to do well in the intermediate economics classes. All sections in this chapter may not be relevant for a specific course. These resources cover some basic mathematical tools used in economics with some examples and practice questions. There is a list of books at the end. These books discuss these topics in more details.

We welcome comments and suggestions. Please email Iftekher Hossain ( to let us know of errors and suggestions. The document is copyrighted. Please do not reproduce or publish any part of the document without prior written permission from the Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario.

We are grateful to Professor Audra Bowlus for her initiatives developing these resources, guidance, and suggestions. We want to thank Greg Pavlov for his valuable time and detailed notes on various topics.

Many thanks to Alexandra Houston for her very significant contribution to preparing the website. We are grateful to Stephen Amey and Abul Hasem for the technical support. Sincere thanks to Social Science Technology Services for developing the programs and web materials for the site.

Creative Commons License
UWO Economics Math Resources by Mohammed Iftekher Hossain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.