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Microeconomic Theory Hardcover – June 15, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0195073409 ISBN-10: 0195073401 Edition: 1ST

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1ST edition (June 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195073401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195073409
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Clear, comprehensive, and deep! The authors' treatment is both contemporary and probing, covering all aspects of modern microeconomic theory at a level accessible to graduate students, and which goes beyond simple statement of results to underscore the underlying intuition. This text should be a standard for graduate study in microeconomics!"--Lars Stole, University of Chicago


"An excellent, comprehensive text."--Michael Jerison, SUNY at Albany


"Broader and deeper than any graduate microeconomics textbook I know."--Rajeev Dehejia, Harvard


"Outstanding! The choice of topics, coverage, and degree of sophistication is perfect for a first-year graduate theory sequence."--Glenn MacDonald, W.E. Simm Graduate School of Business


"Extremely helpful as a teaching aid in a first year graduate theory course. It covers a great deal of material, motivating the material with informal discussion yet presenting it compactly and rigorously, with illuminating diagrams and formal examples. There is also a wealth of interesting homework problems."--Truman F. Bewley, Yale University


About the Author

Andreu Mas-Colell is at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain. Michael D. Whinston is at Harvard University. Jerry R. Green is at Harvard University.

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Customer Reviews

This is an extremely well written and comprehensive book.
The Blue Man
Unfortunately, the substance of this book is almost as poor as its presentation.
D. W. MacKenzie
With out a good math for economists course, this book is very difficult to use.
X

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 91 people found the following review helpful By X on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read three graduate level Microeconomic Thoery texts: Mas-Colell, et al. Microeconomic Theory, Varian's Microeconomic Analysis, and Krep's A Course in Microeconomic Theory.

Mas-Colell is generally the most detailed, inclusive book that must be on the shelf of any serious economist. It has its weak points; however, it is the best that there is for learning the basics of microeconomic theory. Note that this book is generally the text of choice for the first year of graduate study at most all of the top econ programs.

The math requirements for getting the most out of this book are fairly heavy. With out a good math for economists course, this book is very difficult to use.

Kreps book takes on more of the game theory approach. This is very interesting for the game/decision theorist, and is a highly recommended in addition to Mas-Colell for those with these interests.

Varian is often used in masters degree level graduate programs, and lower-level phd programs. At Cornell, Varian covered most of the information from the first semester of microeconomics, but provided virtually no help after that.

It is not as intense as Mas-Colell. However, it is often very helpful in its own right. For students who are using Mas-Colell in their courses, but are struggling to grasp all of the concepts, Varian presents the information in a more "user-friendly" way. He spends more time explaining the concepts using english rather than math, which can be very helpful to someone just starting out.

Additionally, I found the practice problems and examples in Varian very helpful when studying for exams.

In summary, all serious economists usually have Mas-Colell. Other than that, choose your additional books based on your needs and interests.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By AR on May 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Things to know unless you are an econ student who's already done Varian and Kreps at the graduate level & are totally comfortable with that:
- you'll need to supplement this book with Varian and Kreps. Kreps provides good intuition but Varian helps you break in gently. Note that Varian alone will not do - doctoral coursework in micro is much too sophisticated. I literally went through all three books sequentially - Varian first, Kreps next & MWG last to get what was going on in MWG.
- Try to do coursework in differential equations, real analysis & linear algebra before you touch this book. At the very least you HAVE to understand differential calculus really well. The math in this book is incredbly hard otherwise (trust me, I was in misery for 2 semesters).
- This book is great for general equilibrium models etc., but the game theory stuff gets out of hand really quickly. Be sure to use Tirole (Industrial Organization) & Kreps to guide you through the game theory in this book.
To the graduate students in business that aren't majoring in econ: you won't use 80% of what this book teaches you, but if you internalize even 30% of it, you will benefit for a long while.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the typical first year graduate text book in economics. It is target for this audience and it will probably not be very useful to you if you are not in academia. Intermediate to advanced undergraduate could find the book useful provided that they meet the mathematical requirements (more on this below). As it is a first year grad book, it tries to cover all the topics in microeconomics rather than going in depth in any of them. If you go on studying micro, this book will not be enough for your field of concentration.
A last word for first year graduate student whose course adopt a different text book (Varian, Kreps...). It probably worth sticking to your own book rather than buying this one hoping to understand from MWG what you don't get from Varian or Kreps. I tried the reverse process and I miserably failed: notation and exposition are very different; bridging the gap between two books requires too much work.
Now to the mathematical question. Before even starting you should know at least derivatives and matrices. And again, if you are a grad student, you must know them. I think you can read most of the book knowing "only" the following theorems: kuhn-tucker, implicit function, separating hyperplane, fixed point, envelope theorem. This topics are briefly dealt with in the appendix. If you have time it might worth to master these theorems before reading the book, at least kuhn-tucker!
As three authors contributed to the book the clarity (and the depth) varies A LOT among chapters. I will now review the chapters that I studied in depth: ch. 1,2,3,4 preferences, choice and demand: clear and comprehensive 4 stars ch. 5 production: worst chapter in the book, unclear, no stars. ch.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A READER on June 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Firstly, take care to read the mathematical appendix. Just get used to the notation. Once you do, I think the math is not at all hard. If you are going to be a graduate economics student, you HAVE to be totally comfortable with the math used in here. And what they teach you in "math camps" or first-year "math methods" classes goes way beyond what is used here.
I think it's much more the notation that puts people off. Can anyone please point out where exactly the MATHEMATICS used in the book is arcane or inaccessible? Yes, some of the questions at the back are quite hard, but again a little perseverance and the purchase of the Segal/Hara/Tadelis review book and I think you can do well in your micro prelims.
It's much more the case that MWG's presentation is very formal as is their notation. Yet once you get past this, the mathematics employed is really just multi-variate calculus and a bit of matrix algebra.
Strength: chapters 13, 14,15,16,18,21,22,23. Really well laid out stuff. Section on adverse selection is really well-laid out. Problems at the back of chapters 13 and 14 are pretty interesting and actually can be solved through intuition alone.
Weakness: Too arcane and theoretical for consumer theory. By "too arcane" etc I really mean that most professors at most schools never seem to test you on proving (for instance) the rigorous results on quasi-concavity, strict concavity and the like. Rather they like small tricky problems with Slutsky matrices and Euler equations. Yet if you read MWG you will spend a lot of time (for example) poring through proofs of the continuity of the expenditure function and representation theorems for preferences.
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