Best Books, Education, Government, Nonfiction

The Best Economics Books Of All-Time

April 2, 2018
The Best Economics Books

“What are the best Economics books of all-time?” We looked at 245 of the top books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 35 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Economics” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 200+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 35 Economics Books



35 .) Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • List Muse

Bad Samaritans was an introduction to open-minded economists and political free-thinkers to Ha-Joon Chang’s theories of the dangers of free-trade. With irreverent wit, an engagingly personal style, and a keen grasp of history, Chang blasts holes in the “World Is Flat” orthodoxy of Thomas Friedman and others who argue that only unfettered capitalism and wide-open international trade can lift struggling nations out of poverty. On the contrary, Chang shows, today’s economic superpowers-from the U.S. to Britain to his native Korea-all attained prosperity by shameless protectionism and government intervention in industry, a fact conveniently forgotten now that they want to compete in foreign markets. Chang’s cage-rattling, contrarian history of global capital appeals to readers new to economic theory as well as members of the old school looking for a fresh take.

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34 .) Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • List Muse

“Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: he shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.

Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.”

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33 .) Debunking Economics by Steve Keen

Lists It Appears On:

  • Economics Help
  • List Muse

When the original Debunking Economics was published back in 2001, the market economy seemed invincible, and conventional “neoclassical” economic theory basked in the limelight. Steve Keen argued that economists deserved none of the credit for the economy’s performance, and “The false confidence it has engendered in the stability of the market economy has encouraged policy-makers to dismantle some of the institutions which initially evolved to try to keep its instability within limits.” That instability exploded with the devastating financial crisis of 2007, and now haunts the global economy with the prospect of another Depression. In this expanded and updated new edition, Keen builds on his scathing critique of conventional economic theory while explaining what mainstream economists cannot: why the crisis occurred, why it is proving to be intractable, and what needs to be done to end it.

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32 .) Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • List Muse

Freedom, Sen argues, is both the end and most efficient means of sustaining economic life and the key to securing the general welfare of the world’s entire population. Releasing the idea of individual freedom from association with any particular historical, intellectual, political, or religious tradition, Sen clearly demonstrates its current applicability and possibilities. In the new global economy, where, despite unprecedented increases in overall opulence, the contemporary world denies elementary freedoms to vast numbers–perhaps even the majority of people–he concludes, it is still possible to practically and optimistically restain a sense of social accountability. Development as Freedom is essential reading.

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31 .) Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The Top Tens

In Economic Facts and Fallacies, Thomas Sowell exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues in a lively manner that does not require any prior knowledge of economics. These fallacies include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as fallacies about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economic fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries.

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30 .) Economics by Paul Krugman; Robin Wells

Lists It Appears On:

  • Ezvid
  • List Muse

When it comes to explaining fundamental economic principles by drawing on current economic issues and events, there is no one more effective than Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and co-author, Robin Wells. In this best-selling introductory textbook, Krugman and Wells’ signature storytelling style and uncanny eye for revealing examples help readers understand how economic concepts play out in our world.

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29 .) Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NPR

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize”A magisterial work…You can’t help thinking about the economic crisis we’re living through now.” –The New York Times Book ReviewIt is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person’s or government’s control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of that economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades. As yet another period of economic turmoil makes headlines today, Lords of Finance is a potent reminder of the enormous impact that the decisions of central bankers can have, their fallibility, and the terrible human consequences that can result when they are wrong.

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28 .) Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Goodreads

Misbehaving is Richard H Thaler s arresting frequently hilarious account of his struggle to bring economics back down to earth and transform the way we think about ourselves and our world Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior this founding father of behavioral economics Chicago Tribune opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to TV game shows the NFL draft and businesses like Uber Misbehaving reveals how the study of human miscalculations can help us make smarter decisions in our lives our businesses and our governments Book jacket Richard H Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans predictable error prone individuals Misbehaving is his arresting frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth and change the way we think about economics ourselves and our world Traditional economics assumes rational actors Early in his research Thaler realized these Spock like automatons were nothing like real people Whether buying a clock radio selling basketball tickets or applying for a mortgage we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists In other words we misbehave More importantly our misbehavior has serious consequences Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives our businesses and our governments

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27 .) Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Goodreads

Naked Economics makes up for all of those Econ 101 lectures you slept through (or avoided) in college, demystifying key concepts, laying bare the truths behind the numbers, and answering those questions you have always been too embarrassed to ask. For all the discussion of Alan Greenspan in the media, does anyone know what the Fed actually does? And what about those blackouts in California? Were they a conspiracy on the part of the power companies? Economics is life. There’s no way to understand the important issues without it. Now, with Charles Wheelan’s breezy tour, there’s no reason to fear this highly relevant subject. With the commonsensical examples and brilliantly acerbic commentary we’ve come to associate with The Economist, Wheelan brings economics to life. Amazingly, he does so with nary a chart, graph, or mathematical equation in sight―certainly a feat to be witnessed firsthand. Economics is a crucial subject. There’s no way to understand the important issues without it. Now, with Charles Wheelan’s breezy tour, there’s also no reason to fear it.

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26 .) Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Farnam Street
  • NPR

“From the wild swings of the stock market to the online auctions of eBay to the unexpected twists of the world’s post-Communist economies, markets have suddenly become quite visible. We now have occasion to ask, “”What makes these institutions work? How important are they? How can we improve them?””

Taking us on a lively tour of a world we once took for granted, John McMillan offers examples ranging from a camel trading fair in India to the $20 million per day Aalsmeer flower market in the Netherlands to the global trade in AIDS drugs. Eschewing ideology, he shows us that markets are neither magical nor immoral. Rather, they are powerful if imperfect tools, the best we’ve found for improving our living standards.”

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25 .) The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life by Steven E. Landsburg

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Farnam Street

“Which rich people can’t be taxed?

Why is rising unemployment sometimes good?

Why do women pay more at the dry cleaner?

Why is life full of disappointments?

Whether these are nagging questions you’ve always had, or ones you never even thought to ask, this new edition of The Armchair Economist turns the eternal ideas of economic theory into concrete answers that you can use to navigate the challenges of contemporary life.”

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24 .) The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NPR

“A richly original look at the origins of money and how it makes the world go round

Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What’s more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history, arguing that the evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. As Ferguson traces the crisis from ancient Egypt’s Memphis to today’s Chongqing, he offers bold and compelling new insights into the rise–and fall–of not just money but Western power as well.”

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23 .) The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman

Lists It Appears On:

  • Economics Help
  • Goodreads

In this major bestseller, Paul Krugman warns that, like diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics, the economic maladies that caused the Great Depression have made a comeback. He lays bare the 2008 financial crisis―the greatest since the 1930s―tracing it to the failure of regulation to keep pace with an out-of-control financial system. He also tells us how to contain the crisis and turn around a world economy sliding into a deep recession. Brilliantly crafted in Krugman’s trademark style―lucid, lively, and supremely informed―this new edition of The Return of Depression Economics has become an instant classic. A hard-hitting new foreword takes the paperback edition right up to the present moment.

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22 .) The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

Lists It Appears On:

  • TFE Times
  • The Top Tens

An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in 1944—when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program—The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

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21 .) The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • NPR

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy is a critically-acclaimed narrative that illuminates the globalization debates and reveals the key factors to success in global business. Tracing a T-shirt’s life story from a Texas cotton field to a Chinese factory and back to a U.S. storefront before arriving at the used clothing market in Africa, the book uncovers the political and economic forces at work in the global economy. Along the way, this fascinating exploration addresses a wealth of compelling questions about politics, trade, economics, ethics, and the impact of history on today’s business landscape. This new printing of the second edition includes a revised preface and a new epilogue with updates through 2014 on the people, industries, and policies related to the T-shirt’s life story.

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20 .) The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NPR

The economy isnt a bunch of rather dull statistics with names like GDP gross domestic product notes Tim Harford columnist and regular guest on NPRs Marketplace economics is about who gets what and why In this acclaimed and riveting book-part expose part users manual-the astute and entertaining columnist from the Financial Times demystifies the ways in which money works in the world From why the coffee in your cup costs so much to why efficiency is not necessarily the answer to ensuring a fair society from improving health care to curing crosstown traffic-all the dirty little secrets of dollars and cents are delightfully revealed by The Undercover Economist A rare specimen a book on economics that will enthrall its readers It brings the power of economics to life -Steven D Levitt coauthor of FreakonomicsA playful guide to the economics of everyday life and as such is something of an elder sibling to Steven Levitts wild child the hugely successful Freakonomics

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19 .) Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life by Avinash Dixit

Lists It Appears On:

  • Farnam Street
  • Five Books

A major bestseller in Japan, Financial Times Top Ten book of the year, Book-of-the-Month Club bestseller, and required reading at the best business schools, Thinking Strategically is a crash course in outmaneuvering any rival. This entertaining guide builds on scores of case studies taken from business, sports, the movies, politics, and gambling. It outlines the basics of good strategy making and then shows how you can apply them in any area of your life.

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18 .) Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory by John R. Hicks

Lists It Appears On:

  • List Muse
  • Wikipedia

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17 .) Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Alois Schumpeter

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • List Muse
  • TFE Times

“Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy remains one of the greatest works of social theory written this century. When it first appeared the New English Weekly predicted that `for the next five to ten years it will cetainly remain a work with which no one who professes any degree of information on sociology or economics can afford to be unacquainted.’ Fifty years on, this prediction seems a little understated.

Why has the work endured so well? Schumpeter’s contention that the seeds of capitalism’s decline were internal, and his equal and opposite hostility to centralist socialism have perplexed, engaged and infuriated readers since the book’s publication. By refusing to become an advocate for either position Schumpeter was able both to make his own great and original contribution and to clear the way for a more balanced consideration of the most important social movements of his and our time.”

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16 .) Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • TFE Times
  • The Top Tens

“Human Action is the most important book on political economy you will ever own. It was (and remains) the most comprehensive, systematic, forthright, and powerful defense of the economics of liberty ever written. This is the Scholar’s Edition: accept no substitute. You will treasure this volume.

The Scholar’s Edition is the original, unaltered treatise (originally published in 1949) that shaped a generation of Austrians and made possible the intellectual movement that is leading the global charge for free markets.

Mises himself wrote the following by way of explanation of why he wrote the book: “”Economics does not allow any breaking up into special branches. It invariably deals with the interconnectedness of all phenomena of acting and economizing. All economic facts mutually condition one another. Each of the various economic problems must be dealt with in the frame of a comprehensive system assigning its due place and weight to every aspect of human wants and desires. All monographs remain fragmentary if not integrated into a systematic treatment of the whole body of social and economic relations.”

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15 .) Principles of Economics by Carl Menger

Lists It Appears On:

  • Ezvid
  • The Top Tens
  • Wikipedia

In the beginning, there was Menger. It was this book that reformulated, and really rescued, economic science. It kicked off the Marginalist Revolution, which corrected theoretical errors of the old classical school. These errors concerned value theory, and they had sown enough confusion to make the dangerous ideology of Marxism seem more plausible than it really was. Menger set out to elucidate the precise nature of economic value, and root economics firmly in the real-world actions of individual human beings. For this reason, Carl Menger (1840-1921) was the founder of the Austrian School of economics. It is the book that Mises said turned him into a real economist. What’s striking is how nearly a century and a half later, the book still retains its incredible power, both in its prose and its relentless logic.

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14 .) The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

Lists It Appears On:

  • Farnam Street
  • Goodreads
  • NPR

“The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar’s Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.”

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13 .) The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Farnam Street
  • Goodreads

In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states–home to the poorest one billion people on Earth–pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world’s people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards. A struggle rages within each of these nations between reformers and corrupt leaders–and the corrupt are winning. Collier analyzes the causes of failure, pointing to a set of traps that ensnare these countries, including civil war, a dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Standard solutions do not work, he writes; aid is often ineffective, and globalization can actually make matters worse, driving development to more stable nations. What the bottom billion need, Collier argues, is a bold new plan supported by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. If failed states are ever to be helped, the G8 will have to adopt preferential trade policies, new laws against corruption, new international charters, and even conduct carefully calibrated military interventions. Collier has spent a lifetime working to end global poverty. In The Bottom Billion, he offers real hope for solving one of the great humanitarian crises facing the world today.

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12 .) The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes

Lists It Appears On:

  • List Muse
  • TFE Times
  • The Top Tens

John Maynard Keynes’s 1936 General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money is a perfect example of the global power of critical thinking. A radical reconsideration of some of the founding principles and accepted axioms of classical economics at the time, it provoked a revolution in economic thought and government economic policies across the world. Unsurprisingly, Keynes’s closely argued refutation of the then accepted grounds of economics employs all the key critical thinking skills: analysing and evaluating the old theories and their weaknesses; interpreting and clarifying his own fundamental terms and ideas; problem solving; and using creative thinking to go beyond the old economic theories. Perhaps above all, however, the General Theory is a masterclass in problem solving.

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11 .) The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time by Karl Polanyi

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • List Muse
  • TFE Times

In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the “great transformation” of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism. New introductory material reveals the renewed importance of Polanyi’s seminal analysis in an era of globalization and free trade.

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10 .) The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner

Lists It Appears On:

  • Economics Help
  • Farnam Street
  • List Muse

“The Worldly Philosophers not only enables us to see more deeply into our history but helps us better understand our own times. In this seventh edition, Robert L. Heilbroner provides a new theme that connects thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The theme is the common focus of their highly varied ideas—namely, the search to understand how a capitalist society works. It is a focus never more needed than in this age of confusing economic headlines.

In a bold new concluding chapter entitled “The End of the Worldly Philosophy?” Heilbroner reminds us that the word “end” refers to both the purpose and limits of economics. This chapter conveys a concern that today’s increasingly “scientific” economics may overlook fundamental social and political issues that are central to economics. Thus, unlike its predecessors, this new edition provides not just an indispensable illumination of our past but a call to action for our future.”

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9 .) Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NPR
  • NPR

In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin-a New York Timescolumnist and one of the country’s most respected financial reporters-delivers the first definitive blow- by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, he re-creates all the drama and turmoil of these turbulent days, revealing never-before-disclosed details and recounting how, motivated as often by ego and greed as by fear and self-preservation, the most powerful men and women in finance and politics decided the fate of the world’s economy.

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8 .) Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Independent
  • List Muse
  • TFE Times

What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.

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7 .) Das Kapital by Karl Marx

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Goodreads
  • List Muse
  • Wikipedia

One of the most notorious works of modern times, as well as one of the most influential, “Capital” is an incisive critique of private property and the social relations it generates. Living in exile in England, where this work was largely written, Marx drew on a wide-ranging knowledge of its society to support his analysis and generate fresh insights. Arguing that capitalism would create an ever-increasing division in wealth and welfare, he predicted its abolition and replacement by a system with common ownership of the means of production. “Capital” rapidly acquired readership among the leaders of social democratic parties, particularly in Russia and Germany, and ultimately throughout the world, to become a work described by Marx’s friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels as ‘the Bible of the Working Class’.

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6 .) Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Lists It Appears On:

  • Economics Help
  • Ezvid
  • Goodreads
  • Wall Street Mojo

Considered among the leading economic thinkers of the “Austrian School,” which includes Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich (F.A.) Hayek, and others, Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an influential libertarian publication. Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson, his seminal work, in 1946. Concise and instructive, it is also deceptively prescient and far-reaching in its efforts to dissemble economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy.

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5 .) The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Goodreads
  • List Muse
  • TFE Times

With customary clarity, eloquence, and humor, Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith gets at the heart of what economic security means in The Affluent Society. Warning against individual and societal complacence about economic inequity, he offers an economic model for investing in public wealth that challenges “conventional wisdom” (a phrase he coined that has since entered our vernacular) about the long-term value of a production-based economy and the true nature of poverty. Both politically divisive and remarkably prescient, The Affluent Society is as relevant today on the question of wealth in America as it was in 1958.

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4 .) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • List Muse
  • TFE Times
  • Wall Street Mojo

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

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3 .) Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Economics Help
  • Farnam Street
  • Goodreads
  • TFE Times

“Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?

What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more.

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2 .) Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Economics Help
  • Farnam Street
  • Goodreads
  • NPR
  • The Top Tens

How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of his immensely influential economic philosophy—one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. The result is an accessible text that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and shows every sign of becoming more and more influential as time goes on.

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1 .) The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Lists It Appears On:

  • American University
  • Goodreads
  • List Muse
  • TFE Times
  • The Top Tens
  • Wikipedia

The Wealth of Nations was published 9 March 1776, during the Scottish Enlightenment and the Scottish Agricultural Revolution. It influenced a number of authors and economists, as well as governments and organizations. For example, Alexander Hamilton was influenced in part by The Wealth of Nations to write his Report on Manufactures, in which he argued against many of Smith’s policies. Interestingly, Hamilton based much of this report on the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and it was, in part, Colbert’s ideas that Smith responded to with The Wealth of Nations. Many other authors were influenced by the book and used it as a starting point in their own work, including Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and, later, Ludwig von Mises. The Russian national poet Aleksandr Pushkin refers to The Wealth of Nations in his 1833 verse-novel Eugene Onegin.

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The 200+ Additional Best Books About Economics



 

# Books Authors Lists
(Titles Appear On 1 List Each)
36 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown Simon Johnson; James Kwak List Muse
37 23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism Ha-Joon Chang Goodreads
38 50 Economics Ideas: You Really Need to Know Edmund Conway
Economics Help
39 A Brief History of Neoliberalism David Harvey List Muse
40 A History of Economic Thought Lionel Robbins; William J. Baumol List Muse
41 A Monetary History of the United States Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz Wikipedia
42 A New Framework for Testing Rationality and Measuring Aggregate Shocks Using Panel Data Davies, A. and Lahiri, K. Wikipedia
43
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Farnam Street
44 Accumulation and Power: Economic History of the United States Richard B. DuBoff List Muse
45 Advances in Behavioral Economics Camerer, C., Loewenstein, G., and M. Rabin. Wikipedia
46 After the Storm Vince Cable
Independent
47 All the Devils Are Here Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera NPR
48 America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy Gar Alperovitz List Muse
49 An Economic History of India Dietmar Rothermund List Muse
50 An Economic History of the USSR Alec Nove List Muse
51 Analysis of Panel Data Hsiao, C. Wikipedia
52 Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb Goodreads
53 Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization Alice Amsden List Muse
54 Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea Mark Blyth List Muse
55 Basic Economics Thomas Sowell Ezvid
56 Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India Renana Jhabvala; Soumya Kapoor Mehta; Guy Standing List Muse
57 Behavioral Game Theory Camerer, C.F. Wikipedia
58 Between Debt and the Devil Adair Turner
Independent
59 Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala Stephen Schlesinger; Stephen Kinzer List Muse
60 Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Michael Lewis Goodreads
61 Capital asset pricing model William F. Sharpe Wikipedia
62 Capital Markets Franco Modigliani
The Top Tens
63 China’s Development: Capitalism and Empire Michel Aglietta; Guo Bai List Muse
64 Cointegration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation and Testing Granger, Clive William James and Engle, R. F. Wikipedia
65 Collective Choice and Social Welfare Amartya Sen Wikipedia
66 Common Sense Thomas Paine
The Top Tens
67 Confessions of an Economic Hit Man John Perkins Goodreads
68 Confronting the Third World Gabriel Kolko List Muse
69 Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian Richard D. Wolff; Stephen A. Resnick List Muse
70 Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity Robert Pollin List Muse
71 Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD Angus Maddison List Muse
72 Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth Marilyn Waring List Muse
73 Cracking economics T. Pettinger
Economics Help
74 Crisis Economics: A Crash Course Nouriel Roubini.
Economics Help
75 Demystifying the Chinese Economy Justin Yifu Lin List Muse
76 Dependent Development: The Alliance of Multinational, State, and Local Capital in Brazil Peter B. Evans List Muse
77 Developing Brazil: Overcoming the Failure of the Washington Consensus Bresser Pereira List Muse
78
Development Economics through the Decades: A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report
Wikipedia
79 Distribution of the Estimators for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root Dickey, D. A. and Fuller, W. A Wikipedia
80
Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics
Farnam Street
81 Ecological Economics Herman E. Daly; Joshua Farley List Muse
82 ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism Yves Smith List Muse
83 Economic Philosophy Joan Robinson List Muse
84 Economics Hubbard & O’Brien Ezvid
85 Economics Paul A. Samuelson Wikipedia
86 Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxes Paul Bairoch List Muse
87 Economics for Dummies Ezvid
88
Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism
Economics Help
89
Economics Today: The Micro View
Ezvid
90
Economics: Principles in Action
Ezvid
91
Economics: Principles, Problems & Policies
Ezvid
92 Economics: The User’s Guide Ha-Joon Chang Goodreads
93 End the Fed Ron Paul
The Top Tens
94 End This Depression Now! Paul Krugman Goodreads
95 Essentials of Economics Paul Krugman, Robin Wells and M.Olney.
Economics Help
96 Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules Nicholas Bardsley, Robin Cubitt, Graham Loomes, Peter Moffatt, Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden Wikipedia
97 Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt Michael Lewis Goodreads
98 Fooled Nassim Nicholas Taleb Goodreads
99 Foundations of Economic Analysis Paul A. Samuelson Wikipedia
100 Free to Choose: A Personal Statement Milton Friedman Goodreads
101 Game theory Theory of Games and Economic Behavior Wikipedia
102 General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money John Maynard Keynes Wikipedia
103 Global Finance at Risk: The Case for International Regulation John Eatwell; Lance Taylor List Muse
104 Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization Branko Milanovic List Muse
105 Globalization and Its Discontents Joseph Stiglitz List Muse
106 Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System Barry Eichengreen List Muse
107 Grand Pursuit: The Story of the People Who Made Modern Economics Sylvia Nasar Five Books
108 Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth since the Eighteenth Century Peter H. Lindert List Muse
109 Hall of Mirrors Barry Eichengreen
Independent
110 Handbook of Econometrics Griliches, Zvi and Intrigilator, M. D. Wikipedia
111 Handbook of Health Economics Culyer AJ. and Newhouse JP. Wikipedia
112 Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life David Friedman Five Books
113
HIGH-PROFIT PROSPECTING: POWERFUL STRATEGIES TO FIND THE BEST LEADS AND DRIVE BREAKTHROUGH SALES RESULTS
Wall Street Mojo
114 How Europe Underdeveloped Africa Walter Rodney List Muse
115 How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor Erik S. Reinert List Muse
116 Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education Gary S. Becker Wikipedia
117 In Fed We Trust
Farnam Street
118 Individualism and Economic Order Friedrich Hayek List Muse
119 John Maynard Keynes Hyman Minsky List Muse
120 Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases Tversky, A., and D. Kahneman. Wikipedia
121 Keynes – The Return of the Master Robert Skidelsky
Economics Help
122 Late Capitalism Ernest Mandel List Muse
123 Lessons from the Great Depression Peter Temin List Muse
124 Lives of the Laureates
Farnam Street
125 Looking Forward: Participatory Economics for the Twenty First Century Michael Albert; Robin Hahnel List Muse
126 Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science Philip Mirowski List Muse
127 Macroeconomics William J. Baumol; Alan S. Blinder List Muse
128 Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments Susan Strange List Muse
129
MAKERS AND TAKERS: THE RISE OF FINANCE AND THE FALL OF AMERICAN BUSINESS
Wall Street Mojo
130 Man, Economy, and State Murray Rothbard
The Top Tens
131 Managerial economics Png, Ivan Wikipedia
132 Manfacturing Miracles : Paths of Industrialization in Latin America and East Asia Gary Gereffi; Donald L. Wyman List Muse
133 Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises Charles P. Kindleberger List Muse
134 Microeconomics William J. Baumol; Alan S. Blinder List Muse
135 Mishkin Economics of Money Ezvid
136 MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925-1975 Chalmers Johnson List Muse
137 Mobile Capital and Latin American Development James E. Mahon List Muse
138 Monetary Economics: An Integrated Approach to Credit, Money, Income, Production and Wealth Wynne Godley; Marc Lavoie List Muse
139 Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible William Goetzmann Five Books
140 Money: The Unauthorized Biography Felix Martin List Muse
141 Monopoly Capital Paul A. Baran; Paul Sweezy List Muse
142 Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life Samuel Bowles; Herbert Gintis; Ernst Fehr List Muse
143 More Guns, Less Crime John R. Lott, Jr.
The Top Tens
144 New Ideas from Dead Economists Todd G. Buchholz NPR
145 Nicholas Kaldor: The Economics and Politics of Capitalism as a Dynamic System Ferdinando Targetti List Muse
146 Nickel and Dimed: On Barbara Ehrenreich Goodreads
147
Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Farnam Street
148 On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 1817. Online version Wikipedia
149 Other People’s Money John Kay
Independent
150 Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell Goodreads
151 Peddling Prosperity
Farnam Street
152 Planned Chaos Ludwig von Mises
The Top Tens
153 Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy Dean Baker
American University
154 Policy Evaluation: A Critique Lucas, Robert E. Junior Wikipedia
155 Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty Abhijit V. Banerjee Goodreads
156 Population, Capital, and Growth: Selected Essays Simon Kuznets List Muse
157 Portfolio Theory Harry Markowitz Wikipedia
158 Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Dan Ariely Goodreads
159 Principles of Economics (Marshall) Alfred Marshall Wikipedia
160 Principles of Political Economy and Taxation David Ricardo Wikipedia
161 Principles of Political Economy: and Chapters on Socialism John Stuart Mill List Muse
162 Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All Costas Lapavitsas List Muse
163 Progress and Poverty Henry George Wikipedia
164 Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk Kahneman, D., and A. Tversky. Wikipedia
165 Prosperity without Growth Tim Jackson List Muse
166 Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx Adrian Nicole LeBlanc NPR
167
Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Goodreads
168 Schooling, Experience, and Earnings Jacob Mincer Wikipedia
169
SIMPLIFY: HOW THE BEST BUSINESSES IN THE WORLD SUCCEED
Wall Street Mojo
170 Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered E. F. Schumacher List Muse
171 Social Limits to Growth Fred Hirsch List Muse
172 Socialism Ludwig von Mises
The Top Tens
173 Spin-Free Economics
Farnam Street
174 States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s Eric Helleiner List Muse
175 Stone Age Economics Marshall Sahlins List Muse
176 Sunk costs and industry structure Sutton Wikipedia
177 Super Imperialism Michael Hudson List Muse
178 SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance Steven D. Levitt Goodreads
179 The Anti-Capitalist Mentality Ludwig von Mises
The Top Tens
180 The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Nassim Nicholas Taleb Goodreads
181
The Cartoon Introduction to Economics
Farnam Street
182 The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx Goodreads
183 The Contenders
The Top Tens
184 The Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism, 1890-1916 Martin J. Sklar List Muse
185 The Cultural Contradictions Of Capitalism Daniel Bell List Muse
186 The Economic Emergence of Women Barbara Bergmann List Muse
187 The Economics of Climate Change Nicholas Stern List Muse
188 The Economics of Health and Health Care Folland S., Goodman AC. and Stano M. Wikipedia
189 The Economics of Welfare Arthur Cecil Pigou Wikipedia
190
The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics
Farnam Street
191 The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy Mervyn King
Independent
192 The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths Mariana Mazzucato List Muse
193 The Essential Gunnar Myrdal Gunnar Myrdal List Muse
194 The Euro Joseph Stiglitz
Independent
195
THE EVERYTHING ECONOMICS BOOK: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE, YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS TODAY
Wall Street Mojo
196 The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development Sara Roy List Muse
197 The Global Minotaur Yanis Varoufakis List Muse
198 The Globalization of Inequality François Bourguignon, trans Thomas Scott-Railton
Independent
199 The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience Stephen A. Marglin; Juliet B. Schor List Muse
200
THE GREAT SURGE: THE ASCENT OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD
Wall Street Mojo
201
THE GREEN AND THE BLACK: THE COMPLETE STORY OF THE SHALE REVOLUTION, THE FIGHT OVER FRACKING, AND THE FUTURE OF ENERGY
Wall Street Mojo
202 The Handbook of Experimental Economics Kagel, J. H. and Roth, A. E. Wikipedia
203 The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great Recession Richard C. Koo List Muse
204 The Intelligent Investor Benjamin Graham Goodreads
205 The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human Satisfaction Tibor Scitovsky List Muse
206 The Last Phase in Transformation Michal Kalecki List Muse
207 The Law Bastiat
The Top Tens
208 The Limits of Organization Kenneth Arrow List Muse
209 The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World Greg Ip NPR
210 The Logic of International Restructuring Winfried Ruigrok; Rob van Tulder List Muse
211 The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World Tim Harford Goodreads
212 The Marshall Plan: America, Britain and the Reconstruction of Western Europe Michael J. Hogan List Muse
213 The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else Hernando de Soto Goodreads
214
THE MYTH OF THE RATIONAL MARKET: A HISTORY OF RISK, REWARD, AND DELUSION ON WALL STREET
Wall Street Mojo
215
The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Politics
Farnam Street
216 The Origins of Money Carl Menger
The Top Tens
217 The Origins of Nonliberal Capitalism: Germany and Japan in Comparison Wolfgang Streeck; Kozo Yamamura List Muse
218 The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments For Capitalism Before Its Triumph Albert O. Hirschman List Muse
219 The Power to Compete Hiroshi Mikitani and Ryoichi Mikitani
Independent
220 The Predator State James K. Galbraith List Muse
221 The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future Joseph E. Stiglitz Goodreads
222 The pricing of options and corporate liabilities Fischer Black and Myron Scholes Wikipedia
223 The Rise and Decline of Nations Mancur Olson List Muse
224 The Rise and Fall of American Growth Robert Gordon
Independent
225
THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS: FORCES OF CHANGE IN THE POST-CRISIS WORLD 1ST EDITION
Wall Street Mojo
226 The Rise of the Western World Douglass C. North; Robert Paul Thomas List Muse
227 The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism Naomi Klein Goodreads
228 The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t Nate Silver Goodreads
229 The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger Richard G. Wilkinson; Kate Pickett List Muse
230 The Standard Error of Regressions Deirdre McCloskey and Stephen T. Ziliak Wikipedia
231 The theory of Industrial Organisation Tirole, Jean Wikipedia
232 The Theory of Money and Credit Ludwig von Mises
The Top Tens
233 The Theory of the Leisure Class Thorstein Veblen List Muse
234 The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism Gosta Esping-Andersen List Muse
235 The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Malcolm Gladwell Goodreads
236 The Truth About Markets: Why Some Nations are Rich But Most Remain Poor John Kay Five Books
237 The Unbound Prometheus David S. Landes List Muse
238 The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century Thomas L. Friedman Goodreads
239 Theories of Value and Distribution since Adam Smith Maurice Dobb List Muse
240 Theory of Games and Economic Behavior John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern Wikipedia
241 Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens Nicholas Shaxson List Muse
242 Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care Kenneth Arrow Wikipedia
243 Varieties of Capitalism Peter A. Hall; David Soskice List Muse
244 Who Runs Britain?: And Who’s to Blame for the Economic Mess We’re in Robert Peston
Economics Help
245 Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty Daron Acemoğlu Goodreads


13 Best Economic Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
American University Must Read Books for Aspiring Economists
Economics Help Recommended Reading for economic students
Ezvid The 10 Best Economics Textbooks
Farnam Street Greg Mankiw Recommends Reading These 18 Economics Books
Five Books Tim Harford recommends the best Introductions to Economics
Goodreads Popular Economics Books
Independent 10 best economics books
List Muse The 100 Best Economics Books of All Time
NPR Must-Read Economics
TFE Times 10 Best Economics Books of All Time
The Top Tens Best Economics Books
Wall Street Mojo Top 10 Best Economics Books
Wikipedia List of important publications in economics

 

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