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Thread: Mas-Colell as an undergrad

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    Eager! jebba's Avatar
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    Mas-Colell as an undergrad

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    Hello forum

    Senior UG at an east coast LAC with dual econ/math, staying 5th year to take more math classes (applying 2011). Going to do year long independent study with 2 professors in the econ dept that I know quite well. Topic will be grad micro because I think I will go into theoretical micro in grad school.

    My question is as follows, should I do one semester of adult Varian then transition to Mas-Colell or just do M.C. for both semesters. My professors tell me M.C. assumes you know Varian so I plan on getting both books to see where I am at. I think my math skills are decent considering I have taken:
    RA I
    abstract algebra
    calc sequence
    LA
    ODE
    other standard math major cores..

    Planning on taking along side this independent study:
    topology
    RA II
    abstract algebra II
    adv LA
    PDE
    numerical methods
    graph theory

    Thanks for your time, and of course appreciate any feedback

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebba View Post
    Planning on taking along side this independent study:
    topology
    RA II
    abstract algebra II
    adv LA
    PDE
    numerical methods
    graph theory
    That's not all in the Fall is it? I believe I have discovered a new definition for crazy. Moreover, on the topic of Varian or Mas-Colell I would suggest Mas-Colell especially since you're interested in theory. I was fine with just the rudiments of RA by referencing Varian or Rubenstein's notes when I reached something I didn't understand. Honestly I think I'd be kinda dissatisfied if I was independent studying Varian just because its not different enough from Undergrad Micro. Also, I disliked how, in my opinion, Varian didn't handle proofs very thoroughly. Sometimes I thought of cases it didn't include and, low and behold, Mas-collel had the proof in a much more general case.
    Last edited by Charis; 04-20-2011 at 08:33 AM.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    I have never used adult Varian too much, but isn't it supposed to be roughly at the same level as MC? If yes, why not take MC immediately?

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    Varian is definitely at a lower level than MWG.

    However, in my opinion, Varian is considerably better written than most of MWG. I second the idea of keeping copies of both on hand because there are times (at least for me) where MWG didn't make much sense until I read through the related section of Varian and then came back to MWG.

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    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No
    I did a semester independent study using Mas Colell and I found Nolan Millers notes useful. I didn't look at Varian.
    Nolan Miller: Notes on Microeconomic Theory
    In:T A&M, UIUC$, Stony Brook$. Out: Vand, Chicago, CalT. WL: UTAustin. Waiting: WUSTL

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    Kreps. Woot woot.

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    If you want to maybe take a lighter book before MWG I would try Jehle instead of Varian. Jehle is GREAT! In my opinion it is much more rigorous than Varian. It explains concepts much more intuitevely than MWG but is not near as thorough.
    In: Berkeley, Yale, Northwestern, Columbia, UPenn (withdrawn)
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by CostaRicanEcon View Post
    If you want to maybe take a lighter book before MWG I would try Jehle instead of Varian. Jehle is GREAT! In my opinion it is much more rigorous than Varian. It explains concepts much more intuitevely than MWG but is not near as thorough.
    Agreed. Jehle/Reny is intuitive and more rigorous than Varian. It's definitely not enough alone, however. Great book.

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