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asked ago in General Economics Questions by (280 points)
What degree of set notation is acceptable for AER: Insights, from a general reader perspective?  With what amounts to a glance at Wikipedia, I'm able to write things like "F(U):∀F∈F(U)⊆P≥1(U)" instead of "Let F(U) be a function containing all finite and non-empty subsets of U". At the same time, I wonder at what point people simply would rather read words instead of math; and I'm uncertain if Insights is meant to be more-approachable or just concise.

1 Answer

+1 vote
answered ago by (900 points)
Math written in prose does not suddenly stop being math. But what you wrote there makes notationally no sense whatsoever.
commented ago by (2.3k points)
Good comment.  In this example, words are better because (a) they are easier to read, and can be just as precise, and (b) you  (specifically) probably aren't going to make as many mistakes with them.  On the other hand, if you trying using math notation and find yourself all tangled up, that may be a sign that you don't understand what you thought you meant. This is a major use of mathematical modelling: to show ourselves that what we thought we understood, we don't. It's easier to fool ourselves with words.