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Re: A- s in fist two college math classes, should I still pursue a PHD in economics.
Moreover, A- is not a bad grade. A point of reference: I also went to a top 5 liberal arts, ended with a ~3.6 GPA, RA'd full time afterward and now am at a top 5-ish PhD. My undergrad GPA is probably below median in my current cohort, but it didn't rule me out of admissions. I.e. You don't need a 3.96.
You have nothing to stress about. You're already far ahead of many of your peers given your clear planning/preparation toward a PhD.