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Quantitative Reasoning
What Is It?
• Formulas
• Numbers
• Check assumptions
• Reasonable results
• Judgements based on data/formulas
• Appied to a variety of situations
• Understands concepts and results in mathematical forms
• Explains results with graphs and tables
• Expressing a solution so that an audience understands what the
solution means
• This involves moving from concepts to
numbers and back.
• For instance, the wage elasticity of demand is
the percentage change in quantity demanded
due to a percentage change in price.
• Looking at a table of numbers showing
quantity demanded and price, can you
calculate the price elasticity of demand?
Estimation / reasonableness checks
• Consistently checks calculated answers for
reasonableness; makes good assumptions for
estimation problems that involve unknown
quantities; performs reality checks on
numbers reported by others
• For instance, would it be reasonable to
assume that if minimum wages were to rise by
50% that teenage employment would go
down by 80%?
Application / Analysis
• Ability to make judgments based on
quantitative analysis of data
• For instance, if the wage elasticity of demand
for teenage labor is -0.2 and the minimum
wage is raised from $10 to $15, what will be
the effect on the employment of teenagers?
• Ability to explain information presented in a
mathematical form
– In this course we will downplay equations and
emphasize graphs, diagrams and tables.
• Ability to convert relevant information into
various mathematical forms—primarily graphs
and tables.
• Expressing a solution so that an audience
understands what the solution means
• In class discussion or presentations, can you
(for instance) explain the concept of wage
elasticity of demand, apply it to the question
of teenage employment in fast food
restaurants and explain the effect of an
increase or decrease in the minimum wage?