Economics

The Fallacy of the Mixed Economy, by Stephen Littlechild (Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1979; 2nd ed., London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1986). A short and readable critique of economic policy.

Principles of Economics, by Carl Menger (1871; New York: New York University Press, 1981). The classic statement of economic theory by the founder of the Austrian school of economics.

Tomorrow, Capitalism, by Henri Lepage (La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1982). An exciting introduction to the new political economy; Lepage provides a very readable introduction to the economics of property rights, public choice economics, the "new economic history," resource economics, and more.

The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith (1776; Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1981). The classic work on economics that changed the world. Demonstrated the value of division of labor, market exchange, and the spontaneously ordered "great society."

A Treatise on Political Economy, by Jean-Baptiste Say (1821; New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1971). The classic treatise of the leading French economist. Includes the statement of "Say's Law," which demonstrates that there can be no general "overproduction" in a market economy with a free price system, as each good produced creates effective demand for other goods.

Human Action, by Ludwig von Mises (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949; 3d rev. ed., Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1966). The masterwork of one of the greatest of the Austrian economists; starts with first principles and proceeds to such topics as the price system, monetary economics, business cycles, and economic calculation.

Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt (1946; rev. ed., New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1985). A very readable introduction to economic thinking, focusing on the crucial insight of the "seen and the unseen."

University Economics: Elements of Inquiry, by Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen (3d ed., Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1972). This well written and accessible textbook is undoubtedly one of the best available introductions to economics. It is thorough, clear, and concise.

Free to Choose, by Milton and Rose Friedman (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986). A strong statement of personal and economic liberty by two leading defenders of individual liberty.

Man, Economy, and State, by Murray N. Rothbard (Los Angeles: Nash Publishing, 1972). A comprehensive treatment of economics, from the most basic level to price theory, monopoly, monetary theory, and more. In the tradition of Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, Man, Economy, and State is a rare thing in modern economics -- a systematic treatise.

The Economic Way of Thinking, by Paul Heyne (6th ed., New York: Macmillan, 1991). Heyne's widely used textbook is a helpful overview of economic science and an accessible introduction to economic analysis.

Economic Sophisms, Frederic Bastiat (1845; Irvington-On-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1968). This witty and brilliant collection of essays explodes myth after myth about protectionism, subsidies, and other forms of state interventionism.

The Economics of Rights, Co-operation and Welfare, by Robert Sugden (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1986). A valuable introduction to game theory and an exciting treatment of the spontaneous emergence of cooperation; suggests that order can emerge without an overarching and coercive ordering power.

Price Theory, by David Friedman (2d ed., Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing Co, 1989). This is probably the most fun intermediate textbook in economics; Friedman uses colorful examples and a lively style to make understandable complex insights in economics. This book is very useful for understanding how markets work and how economics can help us understand institutions such as law, voting, and marriage.

Capitalism, by Arthur Seldon (Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell, 1990). Seldon offers a powerfully argued case for the free market.

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