What We Are Reading Today: Optimal Transport Methods in Economics

Updated 19 August 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Optimal Transport Methods in Economics

Optimal Transport Methods in Economics is the first textbook on the subject written especially for students and researchers in economics.
Optimal transport theory is used widely to solve problems in mathematics and some areas of the sciences, but it can also be used to understand a range of problems in applied economics, such as the matching between job seekers and jobs, the determinants of real estate prices, and the formation of matrimonial unions.
This is the first text to develop clear applications of optimal transport to economic modeling, statistics, and econometrics, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. It covers the basic results of the theory as well as their relations to linear programming, network flow problems, convex analysis, and computational geometry.
Applications include discrete choice models, models of differential demand, and quantile-based statistical estimation methods, as well as asset pricing models.
Authoritative and accessible, Optimal Transport Methods in Economics also features numerous exercises throughout that help you develop your mathematical agility, deepen your computational skills, and strengthen your economic intuition.


What We Are Reading Today: African Dominion  by Michael A. Gomez

Updated 25 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: African Dominion  by Michael A. Gomez

  • Michael Gomez unveils a new vision of how categories of ethnicity, race, gender, and caste emerged in Africa and in global history more generally
  • Islam’s growth in West Africa resulted in a series of political experiments unique to the region

Pick up almost any book on early and medieval world history and empire, and where do you find West Africa? On the periphery. This pioneering book, the first on this period of the region’s history in a generation, tells a different story. 

Interweaving political and social history and drawing on a rich array of sources, including Arabic manuscripts, oral histories, and recent archaeological findings, Michael Gomez unveils a new vision of how categories of ethnicity, race, gender, and caste emerged in Africa and in global history more generally. Scholars have long held that such distinctions arose during the colonial period, but Gomez shows they developed much earlier.

Focusing on the Savannah and Sahel region, Gomez traces the exchange of ideas and influences with North Africa and the Central Islamic Lands by way of merchants, scholars, and pilgrims. 

Islam’s growth in West Africa resulted in a series of political experiments unique to the region, culminating in the rise of empire. A major preoccupation was the question of who could be legally enslaved, which together with other factors led to the construction of new ideas about ethnicity, race, gender, and caste — long before colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade.

Telling a radically new story about early Africa in global history, African Dominion is set to be the standard work on the subject for many years to come.