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asked ago by (160 points)
I'm trying to finish as many econ courses as possible in a short time for academic purposes.
The school I'll take my classes at offers intro to micro this quarter, then intro to macro & intro to econometrics in the spring.
Should I just wait till the spring? or I can start with micro, then take macro & econometrics in the spring?
I'm hoping to take more advanced micro & metrics during the summer.. How realistic is that?
Any tips or suggestions are appreciated.


2 Answers

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answered ago by (970 points)
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Best answer
Colleges and universities vary in their requirements, recommendations and norms, so I would recommend strongly that you get the advice of a faculty member - or, if you can't do that, a more advanced economics student - who knows your institution.

That said, based on the information in your question, I'd suggest that you go ahead and take introduction to microeconomics now, for two reasons:
1. The experience of taking an economics class will help you decide whether its something you really want to pursue.  As an economist, I naturally think economics is a wonderful subject to study, but sometimes students take the first class and find its not quite what they'd hoped or expected.  Learning from experience whether you like it or not is valuable - either way - and you'd want to get that information as soon as you can to inform your planning for the future.
2. Although I'm a macroeconomist myself, I think its usually better to take microeconomics first.  There are ideas in macroeconomics that rely on microeconomics, but not so much vice versa.

Good luck - I hope you enjoy your classes!
–1 vote
answered ago by (280 points)
It's impossible to understand microeconomics without a study of macroeconomics first.  Research has shown students who study macro first perform better academically in both macro and micro than students who study micro first.

When you study macro first, things in micro look…bizarre.  Many micro texts try to explain minimum wage and impacts on employment as if there's only one product, thus higher wage causes increased unemployment rates (as in permanently, not structural change); yet from a macro perspective you know there's wage compression, labor-labor substitution giving productivity benefits, a money supply, the lot, so there'd only be reorganization of labor into different jobs.  The trade and tariff discussions often suggest open trade moves the price of a good to the "world price", but if you've studied macro the concept of currency markets comes up and you realize "world price" has no real-world meaning.

Micro is basically spherical-cow economics.  From what I've seen, most of the bad theory out there is due to application of microeconomics to macroeconomics problems.  I tend to think micro is negative education (i.e. so completely wrong it's damaging to the student and reduces their level of education), but I'm also solely focused on public policy and have basically zero use for micro.