The goal of this small book is to help researchers and students in social sciences with no background in computing sciences, and without any specific knowledge about low-level programming languages, use FORTRAN for their research. Many FORTRAN manuals are available on the internet but few of them are intended to such an audience and dedicated to the resolution of usual problems in social sciences and economics.
Like any programming language, FORTRAN has advantages and drawbacks. The most obvious advantage is that it is fast, much faster than high level languages such as Matlab. High level language means that a lot of things are dealt with in the background by the software interpreting the language, such as Matlab. This is convenient because the programmer does not have to take care of them. But this makes these programming languages slower than FORTRAN . FORTRAN, in contrary, is a low-level language. That means that one needs to give much more details into the code when using FORTRAN. This can seem cumbersome but it is also an advantage: the odds that something happens wrongly without one noticing it are indeed much lower that way. Nothing is assumed, everything is explicitely stated (implicit none!).