The best books on advanced microeconomic theory

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Professor of Economics at Washington State University. My research focuses on applying Industrial Organization to polluting industries and other regulated markets. I analyze how firms strategically respond to environmental regulation, including their output and pricing decisions, their investments in clean technologies, and mergers decisions, both under complete and incomplete information contexts.


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Advanced Microeconomic Theory: An Intuitive Approach with Examples

By Felix Munoz-Garcia,

Book cover of Advanced Microeconomic Theory: An Intuitive Approach with Examples

What is my book about?

Helpful transition from undergraduate to graduate-level Microeconomics, especially for Masters students or those in relatively applied PhD programs. It offers several worked-out examples in each chapter, intuition behind the assumptions and results, and behavioral economics applications.

An accompanying workbook provides detailed answers to all odd-numbered exercises at the end of each chapter.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Microeconomic Theory

Felix Munoz-Garcia Why did I love this book?

This is still regarded as the Microeconomics “bible” among PhD students at top programs.

Most students often say they “had to suffer” this book (typically known as MWG) after being able to fully understand its details years later (hopefully before completing their PhD degrees!). While relatively technical in some chapters, it is extremely useful to get used to writing style of journal articles.

Detailed exposition of general equilibrium theory.

By Andreu Mas-Colell, Michael D. Whinston, Jerry R. Green

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Microeconomic Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Advanced Microeconomic Theory

Felix Munoz-Garcia Why did I love this book?

This book is highly recommended for students in graduate programs with a strong game theory and mechanism design focus.

As MWG, it is especially technical in some chapters, but its writing is more “modern” in Introductions and other sections, helping the reader “see the forest” a bit more easily than with other books. The math appendix is also excellent and exercises are a good challenge for strong students.

By Geoffrey Jehle, Philip Reny,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Advanced Microeconomic Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your classic advanced microeconomic theory textbook delivering rigorous coverage of modern microeconomics.


Book cover of Microeconomic Foundations I: Choice and Competitive Markets

Felix Munoz-Garcia Why did I love this book?

The first volume examines consumer and producer theory, choice under uncertainty, and general equilibrium; while the second analyzes game theory, contract theory, and mechanism design.

These are, perhaps, the most rigorous, detailed, and advanced books of the typical topics covered in PhD Microeconomics in top institutions nowadays. While excellent for instructors, or advanced PhD students, the two volumes may be rather difficult to cover in the first-year PhD Microeconomics sequence, given their length and technicalities.

Nonetheless, both volumes will be quite helpful for instructors teaching graduate Microeconomics everywhere!

By David M. Kreps,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Microeconomic Foundations I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Microeconomic Foundations I develops the choice, price, and general equilibrium theory topics typically found in first-year theory sequences, but in deeper and more complete mathematical form than most standard texts provide. The objective is to take the reader from acquaintance with these foundational topics to something closer to mastery of the models and results connected to them.
* Provides a rigorous treatment of some of the basic tools of economic modeling and reasoning, along with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these tools * Complements standard texts * Covers choice, preference, and utility; structural properties of preferences and…


Book cover of Lecture Notes in Microeconomic Theory: The Economic Agent

Felix Munoz-Garcia Why did I love this book?

A short presentation of consumer and producer theory (no game theory or contract theory), very rigorous, and with some interesting examples.

Challenging exam exercises at the end of the book. Last but not least, the eBook is available for free from Prof. Ariel Rubinstein’s website.

While most students may find it too succinct to be the only reference in PhD Microeconomics courses, it is probably one of the references several students use (seeking different explanations and examples) at top PhD programs.

By Ariel Rubinstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lecture Notes in Microeconomic Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book presents Ariel Rubinstein's lecture notes for the first part of his well-known graduate course in microeconomics. Developed during the fifteen years that Rubinstein taught the course at Tel Aviv University, Princeton University, and New York University, these notes provide a critical assessment of models of rational economic agents, and are an invaluable supplement to any primary textbook in microeconomic theory. In this fully revised and expanded second edition, Rubinstein retains the striking originality and deep simplicity that characterize his famously engaging style of teaching. He presents these lecture notes with a precision that gets to the core of…


Book cover of Game Theory: An Introduction

Felix Munoz-Garcia Why did I love this book?

An excellent introduction to game theory for graduate students, excellent for the typical second semester of MS or PhD Microeconomics (which focuses on game theory and applications in most schools).

The book is divided in four large sections: simultaneous-move games of complete information, sequential-move games of complete information, simultaneous-move games of incomplete information, and sequential-move games of incomplete information; which is a distinction students typically like.

The section on equilibrium refinements is relatively short, but all other chapters are extremely clear, yet sufficiently general and succinct, which students always appreciate! Rigorous, with detailed definitions and mathematical notation, yet accessible to students with little math background.

Excellent mathematical appendix describing fixed-point theorems.

By Steven Tadelis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Game Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This comprehensive textbook introduces readers to the principal ideas and applications of game theory, in a style that combines rigor with accessibility. Steven Tadelis begins with a concise description of rational decision making, and goes on to discuss strategic and extensive form games with complete information, Bayesian games, and extensive form games with imperfect information. He covers a host of topics, including multistage and repeated games, bargaining theory, auctions, rent-seeking games, mechanism design, signaling games, reputation building, and information transmission games. Unlike other books on game theory, this one begins with the idea of rationality and explores its implications for…


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Why am I passionate about this?

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Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Coaching Habit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

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