on 14 May 2014
If you are a student at LSE then read on, as this review will spare you the pain that all of us doing EC202 are going through. This is the worst Microeconomics book you could ever lay your hands on. It is a book written by someone who is trying to show off his knowledge. It is not a book which aims to teach a subject. Go to Waterstone's on campus or go to the library. Get the book, leaf through it. Yes, its style of writing appears fluid and 'easy' on the first read. But after reading any paragraph, pause and think carefully about what the book is saying. You will realise that many difficult concepts are introduced in just a few lines without giving any real explanations regarding how those concepts were derived, how they can be applied. Try some of the end-of-chapter exercises, not the first 3-4 as these are deceivingly simple. Try them and you will realise that the theory `introduced' in the corresponding chapter has not given you the knowledge necessary to solve those exercises. If you want a good advanced book get yourself Microeconomic Theory by Snyder and Nicholson. As said, this book wants to appear advanced but it has clearly been written by someone who is trying to show off his knowledge, he is not trying to teach you Microeconomics. Quite revealingly, this book has not been adopted, nor is it recommended, by any department in the world except for LSE where the author is a lecturer. Comments of other lecturers on Cowell's book: cryptic ... condensed ... and they quickly advise you to use another one. Their comments are polite. We, as students who made the mistake of taking EC202, think this book is utter ****. But, don't just take my word for it. Read it before choosing EC202. CAVEAT EMPTOR.
on 27 May 2016
A textbook that is not self-contained. Have read chapters 4 - 11 and still been struggling. I hope that this book will no longer be recommended as a main textbook for undergraduate students, but only be recommended as a supplementary book.
He surely covers most important concepts in such a serious way that teachers can directly cite the rigourous definitions from his book, but certainly not an good way for we freshers. Other advanced Microecon books such as "Advanced Microeconomic Theory Jehle&Reny" can explain the same concepts in a more understandable language and with better examples. The way he frequently refer equations and concepts in other chapters are very unfriendly for reader to learn the concepts for the first time. He can use one whole sentence to refer a concept, but simply be not willing to explain it again. Also, he use "them" to ambiguously refer some previously mentioned things. He also leaves many proof and important examples in appendix B and C (answers for footnotes and selected proofs)
He can unbelievably explain many intuitive concepts in unbelievably complicated ways AND explain many advanced concepts and techniques in a way like you have already been familar with it. Meanwhile, He also waste a lot words on expressing in his view how simple some idea is or how powerful some conclusion is, but just do not use more words to friendly explain or examplify those complicated/unrealistic new assumptions/concepts/definitions/phenomena. It is pointless that I have to read other books in order to understand the concepts that are mentioned in this main textbook recommended by my lecturer. Why not just adding more content to explain those concepts? I am willing to pay more for it.
on 29 October 2007
This is a brilliant book for a technical second-year micro course. Covers producer, consumer theory, general equilibrium, welfare and game theory with applications to government and design in great detail. Very accessible with a good knowledge of elementary calculus, real analysis and linear algebra. I recommend it very much. Used at LSE for Prof Cowell's course.