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Thread: What do you guys think about this list of textbooks for Phd Econ/Fiinance?

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    Question What do you guys think about this list of textbooks for Phd Econ/Fiinance?

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    Do you think this list is overkill?

    https://phd.chicagobooth.edu/alexand.../book_list.pdf

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    Re: What do you guys think about this list of textbooks for Phd Econ/Fiinance?

    Weird question.

    The author is not saying you need to know all these books to be a successful researcher. This list is just a summary of what books might be used in PhD programs/research.

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    Re: What do you guys think about this list of textbooks for Phd Econ/Fiinance?

    I have used several of those books during the PhD. This seems like a really useful list. I don't know what you mean by overkill. 1 book in each subtopic would probably be enough to get you through the coursework of a PhD. Dissertation requires deeper knowledge.

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    Re: What do you guys think about this list of textbooks for Phd Econ/Fiinance?

    It's a nice list, but I'd be wary of the author's statement that those are all good references, because some of those books are clearly written for pedagogical purposes and are not intended to be proper reference material.

    My main concern is that in fields that the author is not familiar with, e.g. microeconomics, he's mostly adding books by the most famous authors and don't have a good sense of contemporary research. For example he includes Debreu and Arrow's extremely antiquated texts. These are practically worthless because they don't include 50 years of subsequent developments to those topics, because the core content is covered in MWG, and because those fields have practically disappeared in contemporary research. But he doesn't include Kreps 1988 which is both widely used in graduate 1st/2nd year courses, is very well written, and covers the core of decision theory and behavioral econ theory (two subfields he surprisingly ignored, despite their close relevance to some finance fields).

    That is in stark contrast to macro, for which he produced a very comprehensive bibliography that included the most common textbooks, many recent research references, as well as some classic/Chicago texts that he put in for sentimental value. The finance section also looks solid enough but I can't assess that.

    The econometrics sections will be adequate for most grad students but not those that heavily use microeconometrics.

    He also puts Bolton's Contract Theory under corporate finance instead of microeconomics, again showing some slight myopia towards other fields. Contract theory is probably the most important micro-theory topic that a typical econ student will learn in grad school, assuming they already have 1-2 courses in game theory before they started.

    In sum, this is probably very useful if you're an undergrad or beginning grad student in macro/financial econ (including those in business schools), but it won't be sufficiently representative for theory students or applied-micro students in econ PhD programs.
    Last edited by chateauheart; 01-15-2018 at 07:39 AM.

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    Re: What do you guys think about this list of textbooks for Phd Econ/Fiinance?

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    It's a nice list, but I'd be wary of the author's statement that those are all good references, because some of those books are clearly written for pedagogical purposes and are not intended to be proper reference material.

    My main concern is that in fields that the author is not familiar with, e.g. microeconomics, he's mostly adding books by the most famous authors and don't have a good sense of contemporary research. For example he includes Debreu and Arrow's extremely antiquated texts. These are practically worthless because they don't include 50 years of subsequent developments to those topics, because the core content is covered in MWG, and because those fields have practically disappeared in contemporary research. But he doesn't include Kreps 1988 which is both widely used in graduate 1st/2nd year courses, is very well written, and covers the core of decision theory and behavioral econ theory (two subfields he surprisingly ignored, despite their close relevance to some finance fields).

    That is in stark contrast to macro, for which he produced a very comprehensive bibliography that included the most common textbooks, many recent research references, as well as some classic/Chicago texts that he put in for sentimental value. The finance section also looks solid enough but I can't assess that.

    The econometrics sections will be adequate for most grad students but not those that heavily use microeconometrics.

    He also puts Bolton's Contract Theory under corporate finance instead of microeconomics, again showing some slight myopia towards other fields. Contract theory is probably the most important micro-theory topic that a typical econ student will learn in grad school, assuming they already have 1-2 courses in game theory before they started.

    In sum, this is probably very useful if you're an undergrad or beginning grad student in macro/financial econ (including those in business schools), but it won't be sufficiently representative for theory students or applied-micro students in econ PhD programs.
    Thanks for the insight!

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