An Introduction to Economic Reasoning
- These three books, all relatively short and available online or for purchase, are an excellent starting point for an education in sound economics.
- Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; online here
- Essentials of Economics by Faustino Ballve; online here (.pdf)
- An Introduction to Austrian Economics by Thomas C. Taylor; online here and here (.pdf)
A useful companion to Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson is this series of videos, recorded in August-October 2008, in which various professors comment on each of the book’s chapters — explaining the argument, elaborating on it, and applying it to present conditions.
- Video 1: The Lesson
- Video 2: The Broken Window
- Video 3: Public Works Mean Taxes
- Video 4: Credit Diverts Production
- Video 5: The Curse of Machinery
- Video 6: Disbanding Troops and Bureaucrats
- Video 7: Who’s Protected by Tariffs?
- Video 8: “Parity” Prices
- Video 9: How the Price System Works
- Video 10: Minimum Wage Laws
- Video 11: The Function of Profits
- Video 12: The Assault on Saving
Additional Introductory Reading in Economics
- The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul, ch. 4; the audiobook is here
- The Concise Guide to Economics by Jim Cox
- Making Economic Sense by Murray N. Rothbard
- Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property by Ron Paul
- Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow by Ludwig von Mises
- Free Market Economics: A Reader by Bettina Bien Greaves
- The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert P. Murphy
- Free Market Economics: A Syllabus by Bettina Bien Greaves
- The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
- Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury (a great introduction to economics for homeschoolers; study guide included)
This course with Professor Joseph Salerno of Pace University, courtesy of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, is available in both video and mp3 audio at the links below. To learn more about the Austrian School of economics, read this essay and this essay.
Recommended supplemental reading follows each lecture.
- Lecture 1: Scarcity, Choice, and Value — Audio and Video
- Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Understanding the Dollar Crisis, pp. 1-20, 27-54
- Milton M. Shapiro, Foundations of the Market-Price System, pp. 81-113
- Thomas C. Taylor, An Introduction to Austrian Economics, pp. 40-51 (ch. 4)
- Lecture 2: Exchange and Demand – Audio and Video
- Shapiro, pp. 31-58, 115-78
- Taylor, pp. 12-39 (chs. 2-3)
- Leonard Read, “I, Pencil”
- Greaves, pp. 65-91
- Shapiro, pp. 179-233
- Taylor, pp. 52-62 (ch. 5)
- Murray N. Rothbard, The Mystery of Banking, pp. 15-27 (online pp. 14-23)
- Lecture 5: Profit, Loss, and the Entrepreneur — Audio and Video
- Taylor, pp. 74-89 (ch. 7)
- Ludwig von Mises, “Profit and Loss,” in Mises, Planning for Freedom and Sixteen Other Essays and Addresses, pp. 108-30
- Lecture 6: Pricing of the Factors of Production and the Labor Market — Audio and Video
- Henry N. Sanborn, What, How, For Whom: The Decisions of Economic Organization, pp. 112-85
- Taylor, pp. 63-73 (ch. 6)
- Greaves, pp. 105-32
- Murray N. Rothbard, “Restrictionist Pricing of Labor,” in Rothbard, The Logic of Action Two
- Lecture 7: Capital, Interest and the Structure of Production — Audio and Video
- Shapiro, pp. 235-60
- Mark Skousen, The Structure of Production, pp. 133-49
- Richard Fink, “Economic Growth and Market Processes,” in Fink, ed., Supply-Side Economics: A Critical Appraisal, pp. 372-94
- Lecture 8: Competition and Monopoly — Audio and Video
- Shapiro, pp. 319-72
- Sanborn, pp. 62-65
- Hans Sennholz, “The Phantom Called ‘Monopoly,'” in Bettina B. Greaves, ed., Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader, pp. 162-69
- Sudha R. Shenoy, “The Sources of Monopoly,” in New Individualist Review, pp. 793-96
- Lecture 9: Money and Prices — Audio and Video
- Greaves, pp. 141-67
- Rothbard, What Has Government Done to Our Money? pp. 1-96 (online, chs. I-III; online .pdf, pp. 7-48).
- Rothbard, The Case Against the Fed, pp. 29-69 (or Rothbard, The Mystery of Banking, pp. 77-177; online, pp. 52-108)
- Lecture 10: Banking and the Business Cycle — Audio and Video
- Ludwig von Mises, et al., The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays, Read: Garrison, Introduction and Summary; Mises’s essay and Rothbard’s essay.
- Taylor, pp. 90-95 (ch. 8)
Advanced Texts in Austrian Economics
- Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles by Murray N. Rothbard
- The Scholars’ Edition of this book, which we link to, also contains the book Power and Market, which had originally been intended as the concluding section of Man, Economy, and State but was released in 1970 as a separate book. The entire text is also available online here. A study guide is available for purchase and online here (.pdf).
- Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises
- This entire book is available online here. A study guide to this book is now available here.
- Money, Banking, and Economic Cycles by Jesus Huerta de Soto
- A sweeping and historic contribution to the literature of the Austrian School, showing how monetary freedom avoids the disadvantages of fiat money, including inflation, business cycles, and financial bubbles.
Foreign Aid and Development Economics
- Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion by Peter Bauer
- From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays by Peter Bauer
- “The Marshall Plan: Myths and Realities” (.pdf) by Tyler Cowen
- The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly
- “The History of Foreign Aid Programs” (mp3) by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Miscellaneous Readings in Economics
- “Politically Contrived Gasoline Shortage” (.pdf) by Craig S. Marxsen
- “The Anatomy of Social Security and Medicare” (.pdf) by Edgar K. Browning
- Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 by Charles Murray
- The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt
- The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (advanced) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Because monetary economics is so central to the Campaign for Liberty’s mission, it has been given its own section: Sound Money