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 (.pdf)

Essentials of Economics by Faustino Ballve; online here (.pdf)

An Introduction to Austrian Economics by Thomas C. Taylor; online here

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

Video 1: The Lesson

Video 2: The Broken Window

Video 3: Public Works Mean Taxes

Video 4: Credit Diverts Production

Video 5: The Curse of Machinery

Video 6: Disbanding Troops and Bureaucrats

Video 7: Who's Protected by Tariffs?

Video 8: "Parity" Prices

Video 9: How the Price System Works

Video 10: Minimum Wage Laws

Video 11: The Function of Profits

Video 12: The Assault on Saving

Additional Introductory Reading in Economics

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul, ch. 4; the audiobook is here

The Concise Guide to Economics by Jim Cox

Making Economic Sense by Murray N. Rothbard

Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property by Ron Paul

Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow by Ludwig von Mises

Free Market Economics: A Reader by Bettina Bien Greaves

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert P. Murphy

Free Market Economics: A Syllabus by Bettina Bien Greaves

The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury (a great introduction to economics for homeschoolers; study guide included)

Introduction to Austrian Economic Analysis: A Ten-Lecture Course

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

Recommended supplemental reading follows each lecture.

Lecture 1: Scarcity, Choice, and Value — Audio and Video

Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Understanding the Dollar Crisis (.pdf), pp. 1-20, 27-54

Milton M. Shapiro, Foundations of the Market-Price Systempp. 81-113

Thomas C. Taylor, An Introduction to Austrian Economics (.pdf), pp. 40-51 (ch. 4)

      Lecture 2: Exchange and Demand - Audio and Video

Shapiro, pp. 31-58115-178

Taylor, pp. 12-39 (chs. 2-3)

Leonard Read, "I, Pencil"

      Lecture 3: The Determination of Prices — Audio and Video

Greaves, pp. 65-91

Shapiro, pp. 179-233

Taylor, pp. 52-62 (ch. 5)

Murray N. Rothbard, The Mystery of Banking, pp. 15-27 (online pp. 14-23)

      Lecture 4: Price Controls: Case Studies — Audio and Video

Lecture 5: Profit, Loss, and the Entrepreneur — Audio and Video

Taylor, pp. 74-89 (ch. 7)

Ludwig von Mises, "Profit and Loss," Section A, "The Economic Nature of Profit and Loss"

      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. 112-185

Taylor, pp. 63-73 (ch. 6)

Greaves, pp. 105-132

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. 235-260

Mark Skousen, The Structure of Production, pp. 133-149

Richard Fink, "Economic Growth and Market Processes," in Fink, ed., Supply-Side Economics: A Critical Appraisal, pp. 372-394

      Lecture 8: Competition and Monopoly — Audio and Video

Shapiro, pp. 319-372

Sanborn, pp. 62-65

Hans Sennholz, "The Phantom Called 'Monopoly,'" in Bettina B. Greaves, ed., Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader, pp. 162-169

Sudha R. Shenoy, "The Sources of Monopoly," in New Individualist Review, pp. 793-796

      Lecture 9: Money and Prices — Audio and Video

Greaves, pp. 141-67

Rothbard, What Has Government Done to Our Money? pp. 1-96

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 available for purchase online here.

     Money, Banking, and Economic Cycles by Jesús Huerta de Soto

A sweeping and historic contribution to the literature of the Austrian School, showing how monetary freedom avoids the disadvantages of fiat money, including inflation, business cycles, and financial bubbles.

Foreign Aid and Development Economics

Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion by Peter Bauer

From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays by Peter Bauer

"The Marshall Plan: Myths and Realities" (.pdf) by Tyler Cowen

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly

"The History of Foreign Aid Programs" (mp3) by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Miscellaneous Readings in Economics

"Politically Contrived Gasoline Shortage" (.pdf) by Craig S. Marxsen

"The Anatomy of Social Security and Medicare" (.pdf) by Edgar K. Browning

Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 by Charles Murray

The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt

The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (advanced) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Because monetary economics is so central to the Campaign for Liberty's mission, it has been given its own section: Sound Money

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