Microeconomic Theory / Edition 1

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Many instructors of microeconomic theory have been waiting for a text that provides balanced and in-depth analysis of the essentials of microeconomics. Masterfully combining the results of years of teaching microeconomics at Harvard University, Andreu Mas-Colell, Michael Whinston, and Jerry Green have filled that conspicuous vacancy with their groundbreaking text, Microeconomic Theory.
The authors set out to create a solid organizational foundation upon which to build the effective teaching tool for microeconomic theory. The result presents unprecedented depth of coverage in all the essential topics, while allowing professors to "tailor-make" their course to suit personal priorities and style. Topics such as noncooperative game theory, information economics, mechanism design, and general equilibrium under uncertainty receive the attention that reflects their stature within the discipline. The authors devote an entire section to game theory alone, making it "free-standing" to allow instructors to return to it throughout the course when convenient. Discussion is clear, accessible, and engaging, enabling the student to gradually acquire confidence as well as proficiency. Extensive exercises within each chapter help students to hone their skills, while the text's appendix of terms, fully cross-referenced throughout the previous five sections, offers an accessible guide to the subject matter's terminology. Teachers of microeconomics need no longer rely upon scattered lecture notes to supplement their textbooks. Deftly written by three of the field's most influential scholars, Microeconomic Theory brings the readability, comprehensiveness, and versatility to the first-year graduate classroom that has long been missing.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195073409
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/15/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1008
  • Sales rank: 928,878
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Harvard University

Harvard University

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Table of Contents

Introduction to Part I
1. Preference and Choice
A. Introduction
B. Preference Relations
C. Choice Rules
D. The Relationship between Preference Relations and Choice Rules
2. Consumer Choice
A. Introduction
B. Commodities
C. The Consumption Set
D. Competitive Budgets
E. Demand Functions and Comparartive Statics
F. The Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference and the Law of Demand
3. Classical Demand Theory
A. Introduction
B. Preference Relations: Basic Properties
C. Preference and Utility
D. The Utility Maximization Problem
E. The Expenditure Minimization Problem
F. Duality: A Mathematical Introduction
G. Relationships between Demand, Indirect Utility, and Expenditure Functions
H. Integrability
I. Welfare Evaluation of Economic Changes
J. The Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference
Appendix: Continuity and Differentiability Properties of Walrasian Demand
4. Aggregate Demand
A. Introduction
B. Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Wealth
C. Aggregate Demand and the Weak Axiom
D. Aggregate Demand and the Existence of a Representative Consumer
Appendix: Regularizing Effects of Aggregation
5. Production
A. Introduction
B. Production Sets
C. Profit Maximization and Cost Minimization
D. The Geometry of Cost and Supply in the Single Output Case
E. Aggregation
F. Efficient Production
G. Remarks on the Objectives of the Firm
Appendix: The Linear Activity Model
6. Choice under Uncertainty
A. Introduction
B. Expected Utility Theory
C. Money Lotteries and Risk Aversion
D. Comparison of Payoff Distributions in Terms of Return and Risk
E. State Dependent Utility
F. Subjective Probability Theory
Introduction to Part II
7. Basic Elements of Non-Cooperative Games
A. Introduction
B. What is a Game?
C. The Extensive Form Representation of a Game
D. Strategies and the Normal Form Representation of a Game
E. Randomized Choices
8. Simultaneous-Move Games
A. Introduction
B. Dominant and Dominated Strategies
C. Rationalizable Strategies
D. Nash Equilibrium
E. Games of Incomplete Information: Bayesian Nash Equilibrium
F. The Possibility of Mistakes: Trembling-Hand Perfection
Appendix: Existence of Nash Equilibrium
9. Dynamic Games
A. Introduction
B. Sequential Rationality, Backwards Induction, and Subgame Perfection
C. Sequential Rationality and Out-of-Equilibrium Beliefs
D. Reasonable Beliefs, Forward Induction, and Normal Form Refinements
Appendix A: Finite and Infinite Horizon Bilateral Bargaining
Appendix B: Extensive Form Trembling-Hand Perfection
Introduction to Part III
10. Competitive Markets
A. Introduction
B. Pareto Optimality and Competitive Equilibria
C. Partial Equilibrium Competitive Analysis
D. The Fundamental Welfare Theorems in a Partial Equilibrium Context
E. Welfare Analysis in the Partial Equilibrium Model
F. Free-Entry and Long-Run Competitive Equilibria
G. Concluding Remarks on Partial Equilibrium Analysis
11. Externalities and Public Goods
A. Introduction
B. A Simple Bilateral Externality
C. Public Goods
D. Multilateral Externalities
E. Private Information and Second-Best Solutions
Appendix: Non-Convexities and the Theory of Externalities
12. Market Power
A. Introduction
B. Monopoly Pricing
C. Static Models of Oligopoly
D. Repeated Interaction
E. Entry
F. The Competitive Limit
G. Strategic Precommitments to Affect Future Competition
Appendix A: Infinitely Repeated Games and the Folk Theorem
Appendix B: Strategic Entry Deterrence and Accommodation
13. Adverse Selection, Signalling, and Screening
A. Introduction
B. Informational Asymmetries and Adverse Selection
C. Signalling
D. Screening
Appendix: Reasonable-Beliefs Refinements in Signalling Games
14. The Principal-Agent Problem
A. Introduction
B. Hidden Actions (Moral Hazard)
C. Hidden Information (and Monopolistic Screening)
D. Hidden Actions and Hidden Information: Hybrid Models
Appendix A: Multiple Effort Levels in the Hidden Action Model
Appendix B: A Formal Solution of the Principal-Agent Problem with Hidden Information
Introduction to Part IV
15. General Equilibrium Theory: Some Examples
A. Introduction
B. Pure Exchange: The Edgeworth Box
C. The One Consumer-One Producer Economy
D. The 2x2 Production Model
E. General versus Partial Equilibrium Theory
16. Equilibrium and Its Basic Welfare Properties
A. Introduction
B. The Basic Model and Definitions
C. The First Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics
D. The Second Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics
E. Pareto Optimality and Social Welfare Optima
F. First-Order Conditions for Pareto Optimality
G. Some Applications
Appendix: Technical Properties of the Set of Feasible Allocations
17. The Positive Theory of Equilibrium
A. Introduction
B. Equilibrium: Definitions and Basic Equations
C. Existence of Walrasian Equilibrium
D. Local Uniqueness and the Index Theorem
E. Anything Goes: The Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu Theorem
F. Uniqueness of Equilibria
G. Comparative Statics Analysis
H. Tatonnement Stability
I. Large Economies and Non-Convexities
Appendix A: Characterizing Equilibrium through Welfare Equations
Appendix B: A General Approach to the Existence of Walrasian Equilibrium
18. Some Foundations for Competitive Equilibria
A. Introduction
B. Core and Equilibria
C. Non-Cooperative Foundations of Walrasian Equilibria
D. The Limits to Redistribution
E. Equilibrium and the Marginal Productivity Principle
Appendix: Cooperative Game Theory
19. General Equilibrium under Uncertainty
A. Introduction
B. A Market Economy with Contingent Commodities: Description
C. Arrow-Debreu Equilibrium
D. Sequential Trade
E. Asset Markets
F. Incomplete Markets
G. Firm Behavior in General Equilibrium Models under Uncertainty
H. Imperfect Information
20. Equilibrium and Time
A. Introduction
B. Intertemporal Utility
C. Intertemporal Production and Efficiency
D. Equilibrium: The One-Consumer Case
E. Stationary Programs, Interest Rates, and Golden Rules
F. Dynamics
G. Equilibrium: Several Consumers
H. Overlapping Generations
I. Remarks on Non-Equilibrium Dynamics: Tatonnement and Learning
Introduction to Part V
21. Social Choice Theory
A. Introduction
B. A Special Case: Social Preferences over Two Alternatives
C. The General Case: Arrow's Impossibility Theorem
D. Some Possibility Results: Restricted Domains
E. Social Choice Functions
22. Elements of Welfare Economics and Axiomatic Bargaining
A. Introduction
B. Utility Possibility Sets
C. Social Welfare Functions and Social Optima
D. Invariance Properties of Social Welfare Functions
E. The Axiomatic Bargaining Approach
F. Coalitional Bargaining: The Shapley Value
23. Incentives and Mechanism Design
A. Introduction
B. The Mechanism Design Problem
C. Dominant Strategy Implementation
D. Bayesian Implementation
E. Participation Constraints
F. Optimal Bayesian Mechanisms
Appendix A: Implementation and Multiple Equilibria
Appendix B: Implementation in Environments with Complete Information
Mathematical Appendix
A. Introduction
B. Homogeneous Functions and Euler's Formula
C. Concave and Quasiconcave Functions
D. Matrices: Negative (Semi)Definiteness and Other Properties
E. The Implicit Function Theorem
F. Continuous Functions and Compact Sets
G. Convex Sets and Separating Hyperplanes
H. Correspondences
I. Fixed Point Theorems
J. Unconstrained Maximization
K. Constrained Maximization
L. The Envelope Theorem
M. Linear Programming
N. Dynamic Programming

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2008

    Excellent Book

    This book has long long time been labelled as classic in Ph.D program. Inside the text, you can find a lot of in-depth matters, like Game Theory, General Equilibrium, and information matters, and Intentives stuff. Surely, one may find it is hard to follow basing on the tough maths requirement, however, it relatively make less sense to refute such a bible for nowadays bible book in Micro book. Of course, you can complain the difficulty of the book but please not the contextualisation. Because it only proves you are lacking maths training before the Ph.D program, which Varian's Analysis is only suitable for master students or the first semester of Ph.D program.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    Extremely poorly written

    When there are Varian's book and Nicholson's book, why would Mas-Collel write another one? Especially when the author can't beat either of them. This has been my question for almost 2 years. The authors present almost every idea in the most complicated way they could find. They use many notations that are not very well adopted by 'the usual calculus' which most economics students have taken. Instead, they use many notations borrowed from Real Analysis, Set Theory, and so forth... these are Math PhD level or even higher courses. To explain the ideas, those are not necessary. Before I entered economics, I always thought economics is not rocket science but economists like to make it look like rocket science by intentionally talking in a difficult way. Mas-Collel's book proved my thought. This book is so wordy. The author can't even explain the simplest idea without wasting pages. I sometimes even doubt whether the authors really understand the 'things' (sure they do, they are from Harvard and Mas-Collel became hot in Spain). I just wish they could explain things instead of showing how difficult it is and how high the level is. I once struggled 3 days on this book trying to understand something, in the end I still had no clear idea. I switched to Nicholson's book and I understand the idea immediately and I will never forget it in my life. I wis our professor could choose Varian's book for our first year PhD course. Mas-Collel's book wasted me so much time and I learned very little from it. It tries to touch everything and can't explain anything in the way a student would like. The comparative statics part was badly written. If someone wants to set this as a standard, then the professors should require the students take real analysis (math PhD level) before micro. Because Mas-Collel uses their symbol and language a lot. I believe a true master is someone who can explain complicated things in easy ways because they are competent and have confidence in what they are doing. I bought Mas-Colle's book brandnew. Next time time move, it goes to the dumpster. I will only keep Varian and Nicholson's book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2003

    It would be better if it had wheels

    It may be a good reference for someone who already knows the subject well, but the highly formal style makes learning from it needlessly difficult. The first year of an economics PhD program is hard enough, without such poorly-written textbooks. Also, be careful not to drop it on your foot! Although less encyclopedic, Varian's 'Microeconomic Analysis' is a better starting point for first-year graduate students. It seems that some professors like to lecture from Varian while making their students wrestle with Mas-Colell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    Best out there

    This textbook sets the standard for microeconomics textbook books in Ph.D programs. The sections on consumer theory are particularly good.

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