Microeconomic Theory: A Concise Course

Microeconomic Theory: A Concise Course

Microeconomic Theory: A Concise Course

Microeconomic Theory: A Concise Course


Microeconomic Theory is based on lecture notes for a graduate course in microeconomic theory. It covers a broad range of topics, and to some extent the lecture structure is retained in the style of the book. The author provides a clear account of the main ideas in each area concisely, andin some depth of detail. The presentation is at an advanced level and provides succinct coverage of the material in a self contained discussion. Chapters are organized and written independently making it possible to read any chapter without having read earlier material. Each chaper is written on the presumption that the reader has some familiarity with the topics or issues under discussion but would value further discussion, or a secondpoint of view. While much of the material is mainstream, a substantial portion is not available in existing textbooks. The book covers a range of topics appearing in advanced courses in microeconomic theory. Coverage includes such topics as decision theory, strategic and extensive form games,auctions, bargaining, information models, principal- agent problems, signalling and screening games, cooperative games and models of learning.


This book covers a standard range of topics that appear in graduate courses in microeconomic theory. The intent in writing has been to be brief and clear, and yet achieve some depth of detail, summarizing key ideas in each topic succinctly. With one or two exceptions, it is possible to read any chapter without reference to any other—so that chapters can be read independently. In terms of length, the time devoted to each topic is comparable to what one might find in an actual teaching setting.

The material is not intended as a textbook since there are no assignments or teaching materials. However, it is hoped that it will be a useful companion reader; much of the subject matter appears in any graduate microeconomics program. The topics are presented on the presumption that readers will already have some familiarity with the issues considered, and are looking for further discussion, or a “second point of view”.

The subject matter implicitly reflects some degree of personal taste and judgment on the current direction of the subject. For example, there is substantial emphasis on information economics and the statistical techniques used in that literature; auctions are covered in some detail; a chapter on large games introduces anonymous games and illustrates the methodology with a macroeconomic application. And so on. The notes draw from a wide range of sources, but in general the primary sources are the references at the end of each chapter—although the link to the references is stronger in some chapters than others. In some cases, the material depends almost exclusively on only a few references (as is the case in chapter 8); in other cases, the discussion is broad ranging and may well contain material unique to these notes.

Thanks are due to my family for their support during the writing of this book. At Oxford University Press, I thank Andrew Schuller for help in developing the project, and Carol Bestley and Jennifer Wilkinson for guiding the material through the stages of production. The remainder of the preface briefly describes the content of each chapter.

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