Proposed re-simplification of 'Technical methods' section from 7 to 4 links below heading
"JEL proportionate" vs. "fair synopsis" of 'Technical methods' section
The following concerns templates (A) (favored by me) and (F), the current Econ sidebar, both to the right & labelled as to differences under consideration in this subsection. Recent removal of the  is a convenient occasion for considering more broadly the number of lines & links in that template section. I number the following paragraphs for ease of reference (if that's necessary per discussion below).
1T. I'd like to make a case for returning from 7 links and 4 lines in (F) to 4 links and 2 lines in (A) for the technical-methods section with 2 links in (F) migrating to the "Fields & Subfields" section of (A) below & the addition of Personnel economics reflected in (A), for a total of one fewer lines in (A) compared to (F).
1T1. The object of (A) is an austere parsimony (economy!) and simplicity in the 'Technical methods' section, esp. appropriate for accessibility of the sidebar to the curious general reader. (Note: The 4-links-only of (A) in 'Technical methods' is not new. It is the same as for sidebar from November 2008 to October 2010, which followed a fairly lengthy discussion among 5 editors in 2008 at when "Game theory" was also placed in the (A) position, which similarly helped to simplify that earlier section.
1T2. (A) and (F) represent different paradigms. The heading link for that section is JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories. (A) is "JEL proportionate" in the sense of having no more than 2 lines and 4 links. None of the subject links in the template exceeds those numbers as to the 19 primary JEL classification codes categories and subcategories. The added 2 lines and 3 links in (F) over (A) arguably bog down the general reader to whom presumably the template should be appealing in the 'Technical methods' section. Another discussant earlier argued for the added links as going toward a "fair synopsis" of 'Technical methods' section. The heading link to JEL section with detailed links arguably makes so much detail unnecessary.
1T3. The first paragraph of Mathematical economics rightly cites the advantages of clarity, generality, and simplicity noted in the footnotes there as to application of mathematics to economics. Similarly Paul Samuelson and William Nordhaus in their influential introductory economics textbook describes econometrics as allowing economists "to sift through mountains of data to extract simple relationships." (2004, 18th ed., p. 5). I believe that most general readers and most economists would, in the present context, see an advantage in representing the Technical methods of the sidebar section with similar simplicity.
1T4. Moving down Game theory and Computational economics to the "Fields & subfields" section further greatly simplifies the 'Technical methods' section and places those subjects in a narrative context relative to preceding and succeeding links that might not be obvious otherwise, thereby increasing information to the general reader as to their connections to nearby economics (sub)fields.
- 1T4.1. One unnecessary & muddy nested hierarchy is thereby avoided, namely that in the 'Technical methods' in going from the Math econ to the subareas of Game theory etc. Instead, "Fields & subfields" serves the the same function for Game theory and Comput. econ but more simply (one less hierarchical device).
As to further particulars:
2T. Per JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories link for the 'Technical methods' section, there is no current disagreement expressed on this Talk page on inclusion of Math econ, Econometrics, & Experimental economics in that section.
3T. National accounting/national accounts is usually discussed at the beginning the macro section of Econ Principles textbooks, which argues for its appropriateness in the 'Technical methods' section per economic data referred to in the JEL classification codes, so it was argued at and below.
- 3T1. In particular, depending on emphasis, National accounting may be properly classified in the JEL classification codes#Mathematical and quantitative methods JEL: C Subcategories at JEL: C8, found via the 'Technical methods' link. True, not all economic data are discussed there, but economic data does have a prominent link in the Lead there and in the last paragraph of National accounting#Scope, where other prominent macro measures such as the CPI and the unemployment rate in relation to national accounts measures.
4T. Computational economics is surely something Econ grad students or researchers might be interested in, but a more specialized component of the approach has its own section in Mathematical economics#Agent-based computational economics, about the same length as the Game-theory section, making that part of computational economics (in particular its 2nd paragraph) redundant in the Tech. methods section of the Econ sidebar. In a similar vein:
5T. The Mathematical economics#Mathematical optimization sub-section (including 3 sub-sub-sections) now incorporates most of the Mathematical optimization#Economics + more than 2X as much additional material as the sidebar link to Mathematical optimization#Economics. So, that arguably makes Mathematical optimization redundant in the template. Arguably, the Math econ article should be the go-to article as to Math. optim. in econ. That has added cogency given the (unique) Good-article ranking among general field/area-econ articles of Math econ. (I note as an aside the high quality of the Mathematical optimization, whose most frequent contributors are User:Rinconsoleao, an economist, and User:Kiefer.Wolfowitz, a major contributor to Mathematical economics.)
6T. What about the other part, "Fields & subfields"? (A) moves Computational econ to that section of the sidebar following Managerial economics. The latter mentions and links to computational econ at the end of the 1st paragraph, making the transition seamless. The 1st sentence of Computational economics is:
- Computational economics is a research discipline at the interface between computer science and economic and Computational Economics)
That quotation also makes its connection to Managerial econ. clear enough, in effect providing an Econ. sidebar narrative as to the relation of the 2 subjects. Placement there in the sidebar arguably gives better context to the subject, rather than expecting the uninformed reader to make the connection.
7T. That leaves open appropriate placement of Game theory as between (A) & (F). By parallel argument, the higher-level discussion of GT in Math econ makes its placement of GT in that section less urgent, given the entré provided by the "Fields & subfields" section and a good place to put it. Now, if readers could be expected to read successively successive articles in the template, there would be no harm in its earlier placement. I just believe that ME gives the reader a chance to link GT there, and a pause (that refreshes?) later on under the "Fields & subfields" heading, which places GT in a relevant context of Information economics (whose last Lead paragraph a GT connection per games with perfect information, complete information, and incomplete information) and Industrial organization (per 2nd para. of IO with mention of the GT connection). It's not an accident that most econ principles texts that treat GT at all do so in connection with IO, since IO provides a vivid illustration as to uses of GT, for example, Paul Samuelson and William Nordhaus in their Economics textbook.
8T. The placement of Personnel economics after Labour economics is obvious, given the serious overlap now noted in each respective article. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:10, 12 January 2012 (UTC) + (1T4.1) above per another simplicity dimension of the proposal & (3T1) per discussion of national-accounts data & other econ. data as discussed in national accounts. --19:47, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
9T. I am restoring and reactivating this thread (currently referenced and linked to in the section that follows titled "Bad proposal") from archiving earlier today because of its possible relevance to future "Technical methods" section adds to which comments above might apply. Of course someone might make a proposal to add back something in the "Technical methods" section, but it may be reasonable to make more apparent what contrary arguments have been made above, the better to respond to them if a better contrary argument can be made. Thank you. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 11:15, 8 January 2013 (UTC)