I have listed one textbook as required for the course, mainly because it is nearly encyclopedic in its coverage of microeconomic theory and is the gold standard in the field; also because your other professors will require it:
- Mas-Colell, Whinston and Green (1995), “Microeconomic Theory,” Oxford University Press [MWG].
Square brackets indicate abbreviated references. Because MWG is very terse, I urge you to have at least one additional graduate level microeconomic text at your disposal.
Additional graduate-level texts
Some other graduate-level texts with which I am familiar and that I believe may be useful are:
- Jehle and Reny (2011), “Advanced Microeconomic Theory,'' Prentice Hall, Third Edition [J&R].
- Kreps (1990), “A Course in Microeconomic Theory,'' Princeton University Press [Kreps].
- Varian (1992), “Microeconomic Analysis,'' Norton [Big Varian].
Kreps has a newer text that can also be useful and is very inexpensive, especially the electronic versions. I will reference it from time to time (along with J&R and Big Varian), although some of the terminology is non-standard and the development is sometimes overly technical for our purposes. Solutions to many of its problems are available in the free Student’s Guide and the math appendices are great; these features alone may make it worth the purchase price.
- Kreps (2013), “Microeconomic Foundations I,'' Princeton University Press [KrepsNew].
MWG, J&R, and KrepsNew are in the bookstore because they are easy for the bookstore to obtain.
This table is a rough guide to the places in each book that refer to the broad topics we will cover in ECN 606:
|Topic||MWG||Big Varian||Kreps||J&R||Kreps New|
|Preferences & Utility Functions||Ch. 1, 2.A-C, 3.A-C||7.1||2.1||1.1-1.2||Chs. 1-2|
|Utility Maximization & Demand||2.D, 3.D||7.2-7.5||Ch. 2||1.3||Ch. 3|
|Comparative Statics of Demand||2.E-F, 3.E-F||Chs. 8,9||—||1.4-1.5||Ch. 4|
|Production and Cost||Ch. 5||Chs. 1,4,5,6||7.1||3.1-3.4||Ch. 9|
|Profit Maximization and Supply||Ch. 5||Chs. 2,3||Ch. 7||3.5||Ch. 9|
|Uncertainty||Ch. 6||Ch. 11||Ch. 3||2.4||Ch. 5|
|Intertemporal Choice||20.A-D||Ch. 19||—||—||Ch. 7|
I recommend you have a good undergraduate intermediate microeconomics text for developing intuition. I use the 4th edition of Varian’s undergraduate text (“Baby Varian”), but the 7th edition is what has been on reserve.
- Varian (2006), “Intermediate Microeconomics : A Modern Approach,” Norton, 7th Edition [Baby Varian].
For math references, I find the appendices of MWG often inaccessible and am not aware of others that are comprehensive. I do, however, like KrepsNew’s appendices on Real Analysis and Convexity. I am a huge fan of the book listed below on optimization by Dixit as well as Simon and Blume’s math for economists book. I will integrate parts of Binmore’s and Velleman’s books in class and suggest them as background preparation for anyone without a background in Real Analysis. I have made available a list of Real Analysis topics from Corbae et al. with which you should endeavor to be familiar. Corbae et al. presents the material in a more complex way than what is needed for our purposes, so the list is useful as a reference but I don’t suggest using this as a text to learn the concepts.
- Dixit (1990), “Optimization in Economic Theory,” Oxford University Press, Second Edition.
- Simon and Blume (1994), “Mathematics for Economists,” Norton.
- Binmore (1982), “Mathematical Analysis: A Straightforward Approach,'' Cambridge University Press, Second Edition.
- Velleman (2019), “How to Prove it: A Structured Approach,"' Cambridge University Press, Third Edition.
- Corbae, Stinchcombe and Juraj (2009), “An Introduction to Mathematical Analysis for Economic Theory and Econometrics,'' Princeton.
I have asked the library to have all of these available as electronic resources, but they were not available as of 7/15/2021.