Economics

An Introduction to Economic Reasoning

These three books, all relatively short and available online or for purchase, are an excellent starting point for an education in sound economics.
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; online here
Essentials of Economics by Faustino Ballve; online .pdf here
An Introduction to Austrian Economics by Thomas C. Taylor; online here and .pdf here

A useful companion to Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson is this series of videos, recorded in July-August 2008, in which various professors comment on each of the book’s chapters — explaining the argument, elaborating on it, and applying it to present conditions.

Video 1: The Lesson
Video 2: The Broken Window
Video 3: Public Works Mean Taxes
Video 4: Credit Diverts Production
Video 5: The Curse of Machinery
Video 6: Disbanding Troops and Bureaucrats
Video 7: Who’s Protected by Tariffs?
Video 8: “Parity” Prices
Video 9: How the Price System Works
Video 10: Minimum Wage Laws
Video 11: The Function of Profits
Video 12: The Assault on Saving

Additional Introductory Reading in Economics

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul, ch. 4; the audiobook is here
The Concise Guide to Economics by Jim Cox
Making Economic Sense by Murray N. Rothbard
Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property by Ron Paul
Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow by Ludwig von Mises
Free Market Economics: A Reader by Bettina Bien Greaves
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert P. Murphy
Free Market Economics: A Syllabus by Bettina Bien Greaves
The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury (a great introduction to economics for homeschoolers; study guide included)

Introduction to Austrian Economic Analysis: A Ten-Lecture Course

This course with Professor Joseph Salerno of Pace University, courtesy of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, is available in both video and mp3 audio at the links below. To learn more about the Austrian School of economics, read this essay and this essay.

Recommended supplemental reading follows each lecture.

Lecture 1: Scarcity, Choice, and Value — Audio and Video
Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Understanding the Dollar Crisis, pp. 1-20, 27-54
Milton M. Shapiro, Foundations of the Market-Price System, pp. 81-113
Thomas C. Taylor, An Introduction to Austrian Economics, pp. 40-51 (ch. 4)
Lecture 2: Exchange and Demand – Audio and Video
Shapiro, pp. 31-58, 115-78
Taylor, pp. 12-39 (chs. 2-3)
Leonard Read, “I, Pencil”
Lecture 3: The Determination of Prices — Audio and Video
Greaves, pp. 65-91
Shapiro, pp. 179-233
Taylor, pp. 52-62 (ch. 5)
Murray N. Rothbard, The Mystery of Banking, pp. 15-27 (online pp. 14-23)
Lecture 4: Price Controls: Case Studies — Audio and Video
Lecture 5: Profit, Loss, and the Entrepreneur — Audio and Video
Taylor, pp. 74-89 (ch. 7)
Ludwig von Mises, “Profit and Loss,” in Mises, Planning for Freedom and Sixteen Other Essays and Addresses, pp. 108-30
Lecture 6: Pricing of the Factors of Production and the Labor Market — Audio and Video
Henry N. Sanborn, What, How, For Whom: The Decisions of Economic Organization, pp. 112-85
Taylor, pp. 63-73 (ch. 6)
Greaves, pp. 105-32
Murray N. Rothbard, “Restrictionist Pricing of Labor,” in Rothbard, The Logic of Action Two
Lecture 7: Capital, Interest and the Structure of Production — Audio and Video
Shapiro, pp. 235-60
Mark Skousen, The Structure of Production, pp. 133-49
Richard Fink, “Economic Growth and Market Processes,” in Fink, ed., Supply-Side Economics: A Critical Appraisal, pp. 372-94
Lecture 8: Competition and Monopoly — Audio and Video
Shapiro, pp. 319-72
Sanborn, pp. 62-65
Hans Sennholz, “The Phantom Called ‘Monopoly,” in Bettina B. Greaves, ed., Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader, pp. 162-69
Sudha R. Shenoy, “The Sources of Monopoly,” in New Individualist Review, pp. 793-96
Lecture 9: Money and Prices — Audio and Video
Greaves, pp. 141-67
Rothbard, What Has Government Done to Our Money? pp. 1-96 (online, chs. I-III; online .pdf, pp. 7-48).
Rothbard, The Case Against the Fed, pp. 29-69 (or Rothbard, The Mystery of Banking, pp. 77-177; online, pp. 52-108)
Lecture 10: Banking and the Business Cycle — Audio and Video
Ludwig von Mises, et al., The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays, Read: Garrison, Introduction and Summary;Mises’s essay and Rothbard’s essay.
Taylor, pp. 90-95 (ch. 8 )

Advanced Texts in Austrian Economics

Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles by Murray N. Rothbard
The Scholars’ Edition of this book, which we link to, also contains the book Power and Market, which had originally been intended as the concluding section of Man, Economy, and State but was released in 1970 as a separate book. The entire text is also available online here. A study guide is available for purchase and online .pdf here
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises
This entire book is available online here. A study guide to this book is now available here.
Money, Banking, and Economic Cycles by Jesús Huerta de Soto
A sweeping and historic contribution to the literature of the Austrian School, showing how monetary freedom avoids the disadvantages of fiat money, including inflation, business cycles, and financial bubbles.

Foreign Aid and Development Economics

Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion by Peter Bauer
From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays by Peter Bauer
“The Marshall Plan: Myths and Realities” (.pdf) by Tyler Cowen
The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly
“The History of Foreign Aid Programs” (mp3) by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Miscellaneous Readings in Economics

“Politically Contrived Gasoline Shortage” (.pdf) by Craig S. Marxsen
“The Anatomy of Social Security and Medicare” (.pdf) by Edgar K. Browning
Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 by Charles Murray
The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt
The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (advanced) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

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