Downing College Fresher's Reading List for Economics 2019-20 and Mathematics workbook

It is important to spend the summer reviewing Mathematics before you join Cambridge. Once you start the year, there would be no time to either revise or acquire mathematical concepts with which you are not familiar. Your review of mathematics should entail going through linear algebra, basics of calculus which includes total, partial differentiation and integration, constrained and unconstrained optimisation, so please work though the maths work book you will be sent in August and we will go over how you got on before teaching starts.

An excellent source for reviewing these topics is:

Pemberton, M and N Rau, Mathematics for Economists (any edition), Manchester University Press.

You could also read the following books to get a head start on the courses you would be following in the first year of your Economic Tripos at Cambridge.

General Introductory Text

Dasgupta, P. (2007). Economics: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press.

This is an excellent introductory text written by one of the stalwarts of the Economics Faculty at Cambridge.


Varian, H, Intermediate Microeconomics (latest edition), Norton.

This textbook takes you through the basic consumer and producer theory in Microeconomics, which you will tackle in the first half of the Microeconomics course.

 Dixit, A and S Skeath, Games of Strategy (2nd edition), Norton.

This textbook is an excellent introduction to game theory, which you will tackle in the second half of the Microeconomics course.


Mankiw, N G, and M.P. Taylor, Macroeconomics (European edition), Freeman.

This will be the main text book for the first year Macroeconomics course.


Solomou, S. Themes in Macroeconomic History: The UK Economy, 1919-1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

This is a useful introduction to some of the topics in inter-war economic history.


Kavanagh, D. The Reordering of British Politics: Politics After Thatcher (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

This book covers many of the topics that you will be addressing in the first half of the Politics course