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A Course in Microeconomic Theory Hardcover – February 21, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0691042640 ISBN-10: 0691042640

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 863 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 21, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691042640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691042640
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.1 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most complete, enjoyable, and worthwhile textbook treating both traditional and modern microeconomic theory."--Journal of Economics

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Customer Reviews

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Kreps takes Walrasian equilibrium a bit too seriously.
D. W. MacKenzie
So if you can read only one book in graduate micro, I would recommend MWG.
Amazon Customer
It is written in a humorous and clear style that I found reassuring.
Sarah Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The quality of the text is very uneven. The foundations of choice theory and game theory are presented with great clarity and insight. This would have been enough to get five stars. Alas, the author yielded to the temptation of trying to make it a comprehensive first-year microeconomics text (instead of a complement to, say, Varian's Microeconomic Analysis). The parts on traditional topics like cost and demand functions, partial and general equilibrium have all the flavor of an after-thought addendum. That lost it one of my stars.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Kreps is different from the usual graduate-level Economics textbooks. There is no orderly march of 'lemmas', 'propositions' and 'theorems' supported by stern proofs. Instead you have examples that are taken apart to help build your intuition of how Microeconomics works, arguments that make you aware of the limitations of the standard models. But the story-telling is not at the cost of precision. Enough details and references are provided for the mathematically-inclined reader to build or find proofs.

While all the standard micro topics are covered, the five chapters on game theory are truly exceptional in conveying the logic of the many equilibrium concepts of classical game theory and their relevance to economics. The treatment of choice theory is also much more careful than in many other books. These chapters set the stage for the detailed treatments in Notes On The Theory Of Choice (Underground Classics in Economics) and Game Theory and Economic Modelling (Clarendon Lectures in Economics).

Comparison to MWG? MWG's style is the no-nonsense official style. If you want to efficiently learn the 'official version' of things for that exam you have coming up then MWG is the book to go to. MWG also has more exercises and it covers much more material than Kreps. Its treatment of general equilibrium theory is much superior.

So if you can read only one book in graduate micro, I would recommend MWG. But if your purpose is to learn how to think about microeconomics, you cannot do without also reading Kreps.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on March 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A Course in Microeconomic Theory is one of the best mainstream price theory texts available. There are mistakes in this book. Kreps takes Walrasian equilibrium a bit too seriously. He admits to the unreal nature of important parts of Walrasian equilibrium. He admits that it does not tell us how markets work, and that it omits important institutions, like money. Kreps refers to the Walrasian Auctioneer as fairly unrealistic (p 195), when the adjective utterly might be more fitting.

He also takes 'benevolent social Dictators' too seriously. The next edition of this book would be much superior if the author were to pay more attention to Public Choice theory.

However, he does explain economic concepts fairly well. This is not just an exercise in mathematical games. Much of the math that he uses is game theoretic. Kreps included an entire section on game theory. He uses more math than one really needs to understand economics, but the math that he does use is the most useful there is.

There is an entire section on information economics. It goes farther than most other price theory texts in discussing this important topic, though not far enough.

This books biggest strength is its' section on transaction costs theories of the firm. Here the author remedies much of the unreal character of price theory. This alone sets it apart from other mainstream texts.

This book is the best at teaching mainstream economics. Kreps is modest in his claims about the realism regarding standard models of competitive equilibrium, and explains concepts and techniques well. He also focuses on the many of the right concepts and techniques. The main defect in this book is that it does not go far enough in adding realism to price theory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jacob on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am only a few chapters in for self study to prepare myself for graduate school, but this book already deserves 5 stars. It is a bit mathematical so those with low mathematical maturity should maybe go for a less rigorous book. But that being said, if one is highly motivated I do not see why one could not go through this on ones own.

Kreps has a very clear writing style. I have read a few of his books and many of his papers. He makes things very enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great grad school micro book, with an extra focus on game theory that Mas-Collel doesn't have. # need more words# # #
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