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The Best Economics Books Of All-Time

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“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



 

#BooksAuthorsLists
(Titles Appear On 1 List Each)
3613 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial MeltdownSimon Johnson; James KwakList Muse
3723 Things They Don’t Tell You about CapitalismHa-Joon ChangGoodreads
3850 Economics Ideas: You Really Need to KnowEdmund Conway
Economics Help
39A Brief History of NeoliberalismDavid HarveyList Muse
40A History of Economic ThoughtLionel Robbins; William J. BaumolList Muse
41A Monetary History of the United StatesMilton Friedman and Anna SchwartzWikipedia
42A New Framework for Testing Rationality and Measuring Aggregate Shocks Using Panel DataDavies, A. and Lahiri, K.Wikipedia
43
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Farnam Street
44Accumulation and Power: Economic History of the United StatesRichard B. DuBoffList Muse
45Advances in Behavioral EconomicsCamerer, C., Loewenstein, G., and M. Rabin.Wikipedia
46After the StormVince Cable
Independent
47All the Devils Are HereBethany McLean and Joe NoceraNPR
48America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our DemocracyGar AlperovitzList Muse
49An Economic History of IndiaDietmar RothermundList Muse
50An Economic History of the USSRAlec NoveList Muse
51Analysis of Panel DataHsiao, C.Wikipedia
52Antifragile: Things That Gain from DisorderNassim Nicholas TalebGoodreads
53Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late IndustrializationAlice AmsdenList Muse
54Austerity: The History of a Dangerous IdeaMark BlythList Muse
55Basic EconomicsThomas SowellEzvid
56Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for IndiaRenana Jhabvala; Soumya Kapoor Mehta; Guy StandingList Muse
57Behavioral Game TheoryCamerer, C.F.Wikipedia
58Between Debt and the DevilAdair Turner
Independent
59Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in GuatemalaStephen Schlesinger; Stephen KinzerList Muse
60Boomerang: Travels in the New Third WorldMichael LewisGoodreads
61Capital asset pricing modelWilliam F. SharpeWikipedia
62Capital MarketsFranco Modigliani
The Top Tens
63China’s Development: Capitalism and EmpireMichel Aglietta; Guo BaiList Muse
64Cointegration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation and TestingGranger, Clive William James and Engle, R. F.Wikipedia
65Collective Choice and Social WelfareAmartya SenWikipedia
66Common SenseThomas Paine
The Top Tens
67Confessions of an Economic Hit ManJohn PerkinsGoodreads
68Confronting the Third WorldGabriel KolkoList Muse
69Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and MarxianRichard D. Wolff; Stephen A. ResnickList Muse
70Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global AusterityRobert PollinList Muse
71Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 ADAngus MaddisonList Muse
72Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are WorthMarilyn WaringList Muse
73Cracking economicsT. Pettinger
Economics Help
74Crisis Economics: A Crash CourseNouriel Roubini.
Economics Help
75Demystifying the Chinese EconomyJustin Yifu LinList Muse
76Dependent Development: The Alliance of Multinational, State, and Local Capital in BrazilPeter B. EvansList Muse
77Developing Brazil: Overcoming the Failure of the Washington ConsensusBresser PereiraList Muse
78
Development Economics through the Decades: A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report
Wikipedia
79Distribution of the Estimators for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit RootDickey, D. A. and Fuller, W. AWikipedia
80
Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics
Farnam Street
81Ecological EconomicsHerman E. Daly; Joshua FarleyList Muse
82ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted CapitalismYves SmithList Muse
83Economic PhilosophyJoan RobinsonList Muse
84EconomicsHubbard & O’BrienEzvid
85EconomicsPaul A. SamuelsonWikipedia
86Economics and World History: Myths and ParadoxesPaul BairochList Muse
87Economics for DummiesEzvid
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
92Economics: The User’s GuideHa-Joon ChangGoodreads
93End the FedRon Paul
The Top Tens
94End This Depression Now!Paul KrugmanGoodreads
95Essentials of EconomicsPaul Krugman, Robin Wells and M.Olney.
Economics Help
96Experimental Economics: Rethinking the RulesNicholas Bardsley, Robin Cubitt, Graham Loomes, Peter Moffatt, Chris Starmer & Robert SugdenWikipedia
97Flash Boys: A Wall Street RevoltMichael LewisGoodreads
98FooledNassim Nicholas TalebGoodreads
99Foundations of Economic AnalysisPaul A. SamuelsonWikipedia
100Free to Choose: A Personal StatementMilton FriedmanGoodreads
101Game theoryTheory of Games and Economic BehaviorWikipedia
102General Theory of Employment, Interest and MoneyJohn Maynard KeynesWikipedia
103Global Finance at Risk: The Case for International RegulationJohn Eatwell; Lance TaylorList Muse
104Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of GlobalizationBranko MilanovicList Muse
105Globalization and Its DiscontentsJoseph StiglitzList Muse
106Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary SystemBarry EichengreenList Muse
107Grand Pursuit: The Story of the People Who Made Modern EconomicsSylvia NasarFive Books
108Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth since the Eighteenth CenturyPeter H. LindertList Muse
109Hall of MirrorsBarry Eichengreen
Independent
110Handbook of EconometricsGriliches, Zvi and Intrigilator, M. D.Wikipedia
111Handbook of Health EconomicsCulyer AJ. and Newhouse JP.Wikipedia
112Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday LifeDavid FriedmanFive Books
113
HIGH-PROFIT PROSPECTING: POWERFUL STRATEGIES TO FIND THE BEST LEADS AND DRIVE BREAKTHROUGH SALES RESULTS
Wall Street Mojo
114How Europe Underdeveloped AfricaWalter RodneyList Muse
115How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay PoorErik S. ReinertList Muse
116Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to EducationGary S. BeckerWikipedia
117In Fed We Trust
Farnam Street
118Individualism and Economic OrderFriedrich HayekList Muse
119John Maynard KeynesHyman MinskyList Muse
120Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and BiasesTversky, A., and D. Kahneman.Wikipedia
121Keynes – The Return of the MasterRobert Skidelsky
Economics Help
122Late CapitalismErnest MandelList Muse
123Lessons from the Great DepressionPeter TeminList Muse
124Lives of the Laureates
Farnam Street
125Looking Forward: Participatory Economics for the Twenty First CenturyMichael Albert; Robin HahnelList Muse
126Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg SciencePhilip MirowskiList Muse
127MacroeconomicsWilliam J. Baumol; Alan S. BlinderList Muse
128Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow GovernmentsSusan StrangeList Muse
129
MAKERS AND TAKERS: THE RISE OF FINANCE AND THE FALL OF AMERICAN BUSINESS
Wall Street Mojo
130Man, Economy, and StateMurray Rothbard
The Top Tens
131Managerial economicsPng, IvanWikipedia
132Manfacturing Miracles : Paths of Industrialization in Latin America and East AsiaGary Gereffi; Donald L. WymanList Muse
133Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial CrisesCharles P. KindlebergerList Muse
134MicroeconomicsWilliam J. Baumol; Alan S. BlinderList Muse
135Mishkin Economics of MoneyEzvid
136MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925-1975Chalmers JohnsonList Muse
137Mobile Capital and Latin American DevelopmentJames E. MahonList Muse
138Monetary Economics: An Integrated Approach to Credit, Money, Income, Production and WealthWynne Godley; Marc LavoieList Muse
139Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization PossibleWilliam GoetzmannFive Books
140Money: The Unauthorized BiographyFelix MartinList Muse
141Monopoly CapitalPaul A. Baran; Paul SweezyList Muse
142Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic LifeSamuel Bowles; Herbert Gintis; Ernst FehrList Muse
143More Guns, Less CrimeJohn R. Lott, Jr.
The Top Tens
144New Ideas from Dead EconomistsTodd G. BuchholzNPR
145Nicholas Kaldor: The Economics and Politics of Capitalism as a Dynamic SystemFerdinando TargettiList Muse
146Nickel and Dimed: OnBarbara EhrenreichGoodreads
147
Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Farnam Street
148On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 1817.Online versionWikipedia
149Other People’s MoneyJohn Kay
Independent
150Outliers: The Story of SuccessMalcolm GladwellGoodreads
151Peddling Prosperity
Farnam Street
152Planned ChaosLudwig von Mises
The Top Tens
153Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble EconomyDean Baker
American University
154Policy Evaluation: A CritiqueLucas, Robert E. JuniorWikipedia
155Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global PovertyAbhijit V. BanerjeeGoodreads
156Population, Capital, and Growth: Selected EssaysSimon KuznetsList Muse
157Portfolio TheoryHarry MarkowitzWikipedia
158Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our DecisionsDan ArielyGoodreads
159Principles of Economics (Marshall)Alfred MarshallWikipedia
160Principles of Political Economy and TaxationDavid RicardoWikipedia
161Principles of Political Economy: and Chapters on SocialismJohn Stuart MillList Muse
162Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us AllCostas LapavitsasList Muse
163Progress and PovertyHenry GeorgeWikipedia
164Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under RiskKahneman, D., and A. Tversky.Wikipedia
165Prosperity without GrowthTim JacksonList Muse
166Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the BronxAdrian Nicole LeBlancNPR
167
Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Goodreads
168Schooling, Experience, and EarningsJacob MincerWikipedia
169
SIMPLIFY: HOW THE BEST BUSINESSES IN THE WORLD SUCCEED
Wall Street Mojo
170Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People MatteredE. F. SchumacherList Muse
171Social Limits to GrowthFred HirschList Muse
172SocialismLudwig von Mises
The Top Tens
173Spin-Free Economics
Farnam Street
174States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990sEric HelleinerList Muse
175Stone Age EconomicsMarshall SahlinsList Muse
176Sunk costs and industry structureSuttonWikipedia
177Super ImperialismMichael HudsonList Muse
178SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life InsuranceSteven D. LevittGoodreads
179The Anti-Capitalist MentalityLudwig von Mises
The Top Tens
180The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly ImprobableNassim Nicholas TalebGoodreads
181
The Cartoon Introduction to Economics
Farnam Street
182The Communist ManifestoKarl MarxGoodreads
183The Contenders
The Top Tens
184The Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism, 1890-1916Martin J. SklarList Muse
185The Cultural Contradictions Of CapitalismDaniel BellList Muse
186The Economic Emergence of WomenBarbara BergmannList Muse
187The Economics of Climate ChangeNicholas SternList Muse
188The Economics of Health and Health CareFolland S., Goodman AC. and Stano M.Wikipedia
189The Economics of WelfareArthur Cecil PigouWikipedia
190
The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics
Farnam Street
191The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global EconomyMervyn King
Independent
192The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector MythsMariana MazzucatoList Muse
193The Essential Gunnar MyrdalGunnar MyrdalList Muse
194The EuroJoseph Stiglitz
Independent
195
THE EVERYTHING ECONOMICS BOOK: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE, YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS TODAY
Wall Street Mojo
196The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-DevelopmentSara RoyList Muse
197The Global MinotaurYanis VaroufakisList Muse
198The Globalization of InequalityFrançois Bourguignon, trans Thomas Scott-Railton
Independent
199The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar ExperienceStephen A. Marglin; Juliet B. SchorList 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
202The Handbook of Experimental EconomicsKagel, J. H. and Roth, A. E.Wikipedia
203The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great RecessionRichard C. KooList Muse
204The Intelligent InvestorBenjamin GrahamGoodreads
205The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human SatisfactionTibor ScitovskyList Muse
206The Last Phase in TransformationMichal KaleckiList Muse
207The LawBastiat
The Top Tens
208The Limits of OrganizationKenneth ArrowList Muse
209The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real WorldGreg IpNPR
210The Logic of International RestructuringWinfried Ruigrok; Rob van TulderList Muse
211The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational WorldTim HarfordGoodreads
212The Marshall Plan: America, Britain and the Reconstruction of Western EuropeMichael J. HoganList Muse
213The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere ElseHernando de SotoGoodreads
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
216The Origins of MoneyCarl Menger
The Top Tens
217The Origins of Nonliberal Capitalism: Germany and Japan in ComparisonWolfgang Streeck; Kozo YamamuraList Muse
218The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments For Capitalism Before Its TriumphAlbert O. HirschmanList Muse
219The Power to CompeteHiroshi Mikitani and Ryoichi Mikitani
Independent
220The Predator StateJames K. GalbraithList Muse
221The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our FutureJoseph E. StiglitzGoodreads
222The pricing of options and corporate liabilitiesFischer Black and Myron ScholesWikipedia
223The Rise and Decline of NationsMancur OlsonList Muse
224The Rise and Fall of American GrowthRobert Gordon
Independent
225
THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS: FORCES OF CHANGE IN THE POST-CRISIS WORLD 1ST EDITION
Wall Street Mojo
226The Rise of the Western WorldDouglass C. North; Robert Paul ThomasList Muse
227The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster CapitalismNaomi KleinGoodreads
228The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’tNate SilverGoodreads
229The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies StrongerRichard G. Wilkinson; Kate PickettList Muse
230The Standard Error of RegressionsDeirdre McCloskey and Stephen T. ZiliakWikipedia
231The theory of Industrial OrganisationTirole, JeanWikipedia
232The Theory of Money and CreditLudwig von Mises
The Top Tens
233The Theory of the Leisure ClassThorstein VeblenList Muse
234The Three Worlds of Welfare CapitalismGosta Esping-AndersenList Muse
235The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big DifferenceMalcolm GladwellGoodreads
236The Truth About Markets: Why Some Nations are Rich But Most Remain PoorJohn KayFive Books
237The Unbound PrometheusDavid S. LandesList Muse
238The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first CenturyThomas L. FriedmanGoodreads
239Theories of Value and Distribution since Adam SmithMaurice DobbList Muse
240Theory of Games and Economic BehaviorJohn von Neumann and Oskar MorgensternWikipedia
241Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax HavensNicholas ShaxsonList Muse
242Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical CareKenneth ArrowWikipedia
243Varieties of CapitalismPeter A. Hall; David SoskiceList Muse
244Who Runs Britain?: And Who’s to Blame for the Economic Mess We’re inRobert Peston
Economics Help
245Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and PovertyDaron AcemoğluGoodreads


13 Best Economic Book Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
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