1. Education
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Books to Study Before Going to Graduate School in Economics

Must Read Books for Pre-Ph.D Economics Students


2. Macroeconomics

Giving advice on Macroeconomics books is a lot more difficult because Macroeconomics is taught so differently from school to school. Your best bet is to see what books are used in the school that you would like to attend. The books will be completely different depending on whether your school teaches more Keynesian style Macroeconomics or "Freshwater Macro" which is taught at places like "The Five Good Guys" which includes the University of Chicago, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, University of Rochester, and University of Pennsylvania.

If anyone can recommend a good set of Keynesian textbooks, can you please contact me using the feedback form. The advice I'm going to give is for students who are going to a school that teaches more of a "Chicago" style approach.

Macroeconomics Material You Must Know as a Bare Minimum

I would recommend reviewing the book Advanced Macroeconomics by David Romer. Although it does have the word "Advanced" in the title, it's more suited for high level undergraduate study. It does have some Keynesian material as well. If you understand the material in this book, you should do well as a graduate student in Macroeconomics.

Advanced Macroeconomics Material that would be Helpful to Know

Instead of learning more Macroeconomics, it would be more helpful to learn more on dynamic optimization. See my section on Math Economics books for more detail.

What Macroeconomics Book You'll Use When You Get There

When I took Ph.D courses in Macroeconomics a few years ago we didn't really use any textbooks, instead we discussed journal articles. This is the case in most courses at the Ph.D. level. I was fortunate enough to have macroeconomics courses taught by Per Krusell and Jeremy Greenwood and you could spend an entire course or two just studying their work. One book that is used quite often is Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics by Nancy L. Stokey and Robert E. Lucas Jr. Although the book is almost 15 years old, it's still quite useful for understanding the methodology behind many macroeconomics articles. I've also found Numerical Methods in Economics by Kenneth L. Judd to be quite helpful when you're trying to obtain estimates from a model which does not have a closed-form solution.

3. Econometrics

Econometrics Material You Must Know as a Bare Minimum

There's quite a few good undergraduate texts on Econometrics out there. When I taught tutorials in undergraduate Econometrics last year, we used Essentials of Econometrics by Damodar N. Gujarati. It's as useful as any other undergraduate text I've seen on Econometrics. You can usually pick up a good Econometrics text for very little money at a large second-hand book shop. A lot of undergraduate students can't seem to wait to discard their old econometrics materials.

Advanced Econometrics Material that would be Helpful to Know

I've found two books rather useful: Econometrics Analysis by William H. Greene and A Course in Econometrics by Arthur S. Goldberger. As in the Microeconomics section, these books cover a lot of material which is introduced for the first time at the graduate level. The more you know going in, though, the better chance you'll have of succeeding.

What Econometrics Book You'll Use When You Get There

Chances are you'll encounter the king of all Econometrics books Estimation and Inference in Econometrics by Russell Davidson and James G. MacKinnon. This is a terrific text, because it explains why things work like they do, and does not treat the matter as a "black box" like many econometrics books does. The book is quite advanced, though the material can be picked up fairly quickly if you have a basic knowledge of geometry.

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