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michaba03m comments on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject - Less Wrong

167 Post author: lukeprog 16 January 2011 08:30AM

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Comment author: michaba03m 16 January 2011 11:24:52AM 4 points [-]

For elementary economics: "Macroeconomics" by Mankiw, is without a doubt the best on the market. It is incredibly well written, and it's so good once you've read the book it fools you into thinking you understand absolutely everything on the topic! "Intermediate Microeconomics" by Varian, is arguably the one to get. It can be a tad dry, and he uses lots of maths. If you don't like the idea of that then "Microeconomics" by Katz and Rosen is a very readable and less mathematical, though not quite as comprehensive as Varian.

Comment author: waveman 15 August 2014 04:00:02AM *  0 points [-]

Two issues with this recommendation

  1. It is a macroeconomics text and has very little on microeconomics - a large and arguably the more useful part of economics.

  2. This is not an introductory text. For someone starting on economics Mankiw has another very readable text "Principles of Economics" which I recently read and recommend. This will get you up to speed on the main concepts and then you can happily proceed to more advanced texts with plenty of math. As an introductory text I would prefer this to Samuelson "Economics" which I found covered similar material but too slowly.

A lot of what people think of as "Economics" is another related discipline called "Finance" - which is about investing, and speculating, more or less. No recommendations there as all the books I have read on the subject are pretty bad.

Edit: reading the above post you seem to be actually recommending a book on macro and one on micro also, though this is not entirely clear (eg the top level poster managed to misunderstand it). That may be OK provided the reader is prepared for a very steep learning curve. I would suggest that time spend reading an introductory text first would be well spent.

BTW I have a copy of Mankiw's introduction if any LWer in Australia would like to read it.

Comment author: randallsquared 16 January 2011 04:59:05PM 7 points [-]

it's so good once you've read the book it fools you into thinking you understand absolutely everything on the topic

That's a weird feature to claim for a book you say is both good and only covers elementary knowledge.

Comment deleted 17 January 2011 07:24:24AM [-]
Comment author: wedrifid 17 January 2011 01:25:18PM *  4 points [-]

My dear

There is something about that kind of introduction that makes me reach toward the downvote button. Especially when used in the context of a sentence that does not make grammatical sense and a comment that demonstrates an incorrect understanding of the position being refuted.

"If you must be patronising then at least make sure you're right, for crying out loud!" tends to be my attitude. But maybe that is just me being excessively picky. :)