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I realize now that my undergraduate program is not nearly as rigorous as it should be - it required almost no math to complete. This is concerning because I've been accepted into a decent (top 30) PhD program. However, I (luckily) am also completing a degree in mathematics.

My question:

Can anyone recommend a good textbook(s) to help me bridge the gap between my non-rigorous program and a PhD program (level of rigor is whatever might be typical of a top 30 school??). I would also love any online resources such as video lectures, problem sets with solutions etc.

I looked at MIT's OCW but most of the courses beyond the principles do not include lectures, which was really disappointing.

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    $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, many grad programs basically start from scratch with econ an re-visit all of the key topics (consumer choice, production, general equilibrium, information economics, etc.) in a much more rigorous way than in any undergrad degree. The main hurdle for many is not having the maths (real analysis, linear algebra, calculus) skills to cope with this rigorous treatment rather than the difficulty of the economics per se. That is why most top graduate programs screen so intensively on applicants' maths skills. $\endgroup$ – Ubiquitous Jan 24 '15 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ I changed the title of the question to be a little more descriptive so that this question is easier to find in search, etc. $\endgroup$ – Ubiquitous Jan 24 '15 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ That is nice to know. I am browsing some coursework from a few top schools and I am familiar with the maths, but not the maths applied to economics. So, I am able to self-learn these things as I encounter them but I certainly didn't attending a program that exposed me to many of these things. $\endgroup$ – 123 Jan 24 '15 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe economics isn't about math, otherwise just study math or do you need every little step handed to you. $\endgroup$ – marshal craft Jan 27 '18 at 5:18
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I'd work my way through Microeconomic Analysis by Hal Varian (the PhD level one) and Mathematics for Economists by Simon and Bloom. You'll need both the micro intuition of the former and mastery of the math bits of the the latter. You'll need thornier and more technical books at some point but these authors will hold your hand enough to work through them solo.

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  • $\begingroup$ BKay - Do you have any experience with Advanced Microeconomic Theory by Jehle and and Reny? I stumbled across a cheap copy yesterday at a used bookstore and decided to buy it. It seems okay thus far. I found Varian's intermediate text but was unable to find his graduate text. The intermediate text was a bit too simplistic. $\endgroup$ – 123 Jan 24 '15 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry no. Graduate micro for me was mostly Varian and Mas Colell, Whinston, and Green for production and decision theory. Starr for GE. Game theory was mostly class notes. $\endgroup$ – BKay Jan 24 '15 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @mathtastic I've used Jehle and Reny as a reference to Mas Colell, so i highly vouch this textbook. I read Jehle and Reny and Varian first, then used Mas-Colell for advanced topics. $\endgroup$ – Amstell Jan 25 '15 at 0:27
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The other suggestions given here are great. In addition, I might add the following. Because you mention completing a degree in mathematics but not having a rigorous economics program, it's reasonable to assume that you might have some gaps in econometrics. If you haven't already, you should go through "Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach" by Wooldridge. (If you've gone through it already and want something more advanced, you could take a look at the books listed in this question.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I haven't done econometrics. It's actually ironic, since our econometrics professor is arguably our departments only 'claim to fame.' I have, however, taken a thorough statistical modeling course and taken intro and advanced statistics...would this be sufficient background to tackle the more advanced material? $\endgroup$ – 123 Jan 24 '15 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion, it's always good to know more econometrics. Plus, econometrics often focuses in on different things than you might focus on in a statistics course. This might be something to think about. However, if you're goal is a sort of pre-grad-school-"triage", then you might focus your efforts on other aspects of economics. $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Jan 24 '15 at 5:44
  • $\begingroup$ @jmberjara - got my hands on this today. I will let you know how it goes! Thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – 123 Jan 28 '15 at 3:54

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