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Thread: Preparing for Graduate Micro

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    Preparing for Graduate Micro

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    I'm an undergraduate who will be taking the PhD micro sequence at my school (top-30 US econ) beginning in the fall. My school uses MWG; I've purchased the book, as well as used copies of Sundaram and Simon and Blume for reference. Any advice you would have as I go through these difficult classes?

    For reference, some relevant classes I've taken include Intermediate Micro, Calculus I-III, Linear Algebra (Proof-based), Mathematical Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics, Analysis I, and Topology (all As).

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    Find yourself a study group / problem set buddy as soon as possible.

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    If you can get a copy of the syllabus before it starts you can study ahead efficiently. Otherwise, I hope your other classes are easier so that you'll have a buffer when you run the gauntlet.

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    Quote Originally Posted by pulsars View Post
    Find yourself a study group / problem set buddy as soon as possible.
    This is the most important advice you can get. When I did it, 4 of us got together and met up every week, the day before tutorials, so we can discuss the problem set before submitting them. The first few ones are admittedly very simple, but the difficulty - complexity, rather - ramps up quite quickly.

    Some extra comments. 'Suppose not' mathematical arguments are your best friends. 90% of the time, they'll work out.

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    By "suppose not" mathematical arguments, are you referring to "proof by contrapositive"? Or something else?

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    https://www.urch.com/forums/phd-econ...tml?highlight=

    This thread had a lot of good advice

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    "Suppose not" arguments are proofs by contradiction.
    Last edited by EXP; 07-09-2019 at 02:21 PM.

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    Re: Preparing for Graduate Micro

    Apart from all the other advice mentioned -- You should be prepared for the very real possibility that you will drop the course; i.e. you should have a reserve option ready. You do have the necessary math background to do well in grad micro, but I'd guess up to 60-70% of people in your background nonetheless drop out of their first attempt at a grad econ course. I went to a US undergrad with a top 30 econ department as well, and we had around 4 out of 40 undergrads finish with an A in their first grad econ course over a period of 5 years. The "gap" in rigor between grad-level econ and undergrad-level econ is generally larger in mid-ranked departments, and can be hard to adjust to.

    At some point in the second month, when the workload starts to ramp up and you're starting to get some feedback on whether you might be doing well in the course, you'll need to make an informed guess on whether you should continue investing so much time in that course, or drop it and try again later.

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