Masters of Public Policy

Mathematics and Economics
Kevin Wainwright
Office:3689 West Mall
Harbour Centre:
Office: 3266 HC
Fall 2007  MPP 801  


The sequence of MPP801 and MPP802 provides grounding in the core economic ideas required for policy analysis. A requirement is basic college-level mathematics; calculus is not required. MPP801 introduces the theory of rational consumer choice, with emphasis on the role of consumer surplus. It treats production theory and profit maximization subject to production function constraints. The course gives an intuitive introduction to the theory of competitive market equilibrium and its efficiency properties.This course will also spend some time on reviewing and strengthening your basic math skills. The will be "front end" loaded: more in the beginning and tapering off throughout the term. Problem sets, notes, and practice questions can be found on this page.

Course Outline (Adobe PDF)


Lecture: Tutorial:

Economics Assigments

* Note that the "Due Dates" are tentative

Economics Notes

  • Note 1: Solving Utility Maximization Problems
  • Note 2: CV and EV
  • Note 3: Expected Utility: Notes, Examples and practice problems
  • Note 4: Principle/Agent illustration

Multiple Choice Study Questions

Economics Tutorial Questions

Below are links to study/tutorial questions for selected topics to be covered in this course. Each topic constains three types of questions: True and False, Short Problems, and Longer Problems. There are brief answers to most questions.

Students are to focus on the True/False questions for class discussion and review. While the "True" or "False" answer is supplied, there is no explanation- that is to be supplied by the student. For assigments and exams, only the explanation will be marked.


    1. Utility Theory
    2. Production and Costs
    3. Competitive Markets
    4. Monopoly and Price Discrimination


Math Notes for Economics

Problem Sets (with Answers):

Linear Equation Systems

  1. Linear equations 1
  2. Linear equations 2
  3. Linear equations 3
  4. Linear Systems 1
  5. Linear Systems 2

Nonlinear Equation Systems

  1. Quadratic Equations 1

Single Variable Calculus

  1. Power Function, Sum-difference, and Product Rules
  2. Quotient and Chain Rules


  1. Applied Max and Min Problems

Notes and Handouts:

One Variable Calculus

  1. First 5 Rules
  2. Full set of calculus notes
  3. Addional calculus topics (Optional!)

Statistics and Excel

  1. Excel Data file (Download and Save to local computer)
  1. Excel Answer Key
  2. Demo file gradebook
This page contains Hands On Exercises and EXCEL files that cover topics that are frequently needed for  projects. In some cases there will be techniques that are new to you, and others may simply be a review.


Filtering Tutorial
Lesson Two  EXCEL FILE

LESSON THREE:Elasticity and Growth Rates (natural Logarithms)
 Elasticity  Tutorial
  Lesson three EXCEL FILE

LESSON FOUR:PARSING (seperating columns) and CONCATENATING (combining columns)
 PARSING  Tutorial
  Lesson Four EXCEL FILE

LESSON FIVE:WORKING WITH LARGE SPEADSHEETS data Shortcut Keys, cool tricks to select, copy, fill columns, using formulas
Large Speadsheet Tutorial #1
Large Speadsheet Tutorial #2 Lesson Five  EXCEL FILE #1 (Test Data.xls)
Lesson Five EXCEL FILE #2 (Test Data2.xls)