This paper presents an investigation of three analytical models for inelastic analysis of reinforced concrete framed structures. The first model employs a plane stress reinforced concrete element formulation with reinforcement oriented in any direction. The second model is based on a simplified layered frame element. The third model is a mathematical programming model in which the inelastic analysis is formulated as a linear complementarity problem. Formulation and significant computational steps of the three models are explained briefly. The performance of the three models in predicting the bending moment distribution at ultimate load stages is discussed through application to a number of frames and the results are compared with the experimental investigation conducted on 14 frames. This study concludes that the mathematical programming model is a computationally efficient model for inelastic analysis and offers scope for practical application for limit-state design of concrete frames. © 1992.