The first thing we must do is introduce some basic mathematical concepts. I am going to assume you have no mathematical background. The first thing a mathematical economist does is replace words with symbols so that price may become p, quantity may become Q, and so on. Of course, the symbol used is completely arbitrary: price could be represented by Y and quantity by X, for example. Most writing, however, prefers to relate the symbols in some way to the words they represent. The words represented and the symbols used are referred to as parameters and variables.
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