I wish somebody told me this before I started. But my loss is your gain.

There's a reasonable chance that you will have to learn Microeconomics even if you are not getting a Ph.D in Finance or Economics, as my friends in Accounting and Information Sciences can attest. There's a much smaller chance that you are a Math wizard like my friend Andrew Detzel, who passed his Math comprehensive exams before starting his Finance doctoral program. If you are like him, this post is not for you.

If you don't know Economics already, you'll need to do some pre-work. A symptom that you need pre-work is when you look at an Economics graph and think that the economist who drew it confused the *x* and *y* axis. Other symptoms are not knowing what a Hessian is, or not being able to do derivatives using the chain rule **in your freaking head, LIKE A BOSS.**

Here's what you'll need **before you even start**:

**Intermediate Price Theory**: Price Theory and Applications: Decisions, Markets, and Information. It strikes a good balance between being readable and formal and helps build the "economic intuition" you'll need to understand what people are trying to do in your courses.**Mathematics for Economists:**Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics. The fundaments you'll need, explained clearly with lots of examples. One downside: not too many exercises. One possible upside: some of the examples cover M**a**croeconomics. Most people can skip this book if they can easily read the next one.**Microeconomic Theory:**I recommend The Structure of Economics: A Mathematical Analysis. Provides clear explanations and examples of mostly everything that you**really**need to know. Somewhat mathematically rigorous, but not too much.

Once your Microeconomic Theory course starts, you'll probably be assigned Microeconomic Theory by Mas-Colell, Whinston and Green (MWG). Knowing the content of the three books I mentioned above will give you a fighting chance against MWG.

Now, if you're going for an MBA, the first book is more than enough for most cases. You should probably just get the book you are assigned. Knowing how many drinks you can have before driving is **way** more important. True story.

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