Good Economic Articles

What are some of your favorite economic articles? As a non-economist, as someone who has not officially trained in the field, I would highly recommend the below articles to other non-economists who would like to sharpen up their economics skill set.

Roofs or Ceilings? The Current Housing Problem by Milton Friedman and George Stigler. This is Friedman’s classic argument against rent controls, it was originally published in 1946 by the Foundation for Economic Education.

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits by Milton Friedman. This article was published in The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970.

Selected Essays on Political Economy by Frédéric Bastiat. The difference between a good and a bad economist is a good economist is someone who sees both, the seen and the unseen, of everything. Bastiat was definitely a good economist.

Economic Growth by Paul M. Romer. Few goals are as important to the well being of society as economic growth.

The Use of Knowledge in Society by F.A. Hayek. Few people explain how a market economy functions as well as Hayek.

I, Pencil My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read. This article demonstrates ‘the invisible hand of capitalism’ better than any other article I have read.

A Marvel of Cooperation: How Order Emerges without a Conscious Planner by Russell Roberts. This is a great article that ties alot of the above articles into one.

Free Trade by Alan S. Blinder. In a time where 93% of Democrats vote against free trade, it is important to be reminded why all economists, whether liberal or conservative, are for free trade, and liberal economist Alan Blinder is here to set the record straight.

Protectionism by Jagdish Bhagwati. Along the same lines, it is important to be reminded about the dangers of protectionism, in whatever form it may manifest itself.

In Praise of Cheap Labor
Bad jobs at bad wages are better than no jobs at all
By Paul Krugman. ‘Sweatshops’ often get a bad wrap, and there is nobody more qualified to put them in their rightful perspective than the liberal icon Paul Krugman himself.

Enjoy!!!

68 Responses to “Good Economic Articles”


  • Great list. I actually have never read a good deal of these but will make sure to do so.

    HP… did you ever buy George Reisman’s book Capitalism? It’s a must add to your shelf. I know you are busy of late but I would strongly recommend it and would be interested on your take on the first few chapters.

    Take it easy,
    Peter

  • No, I never bought it. I decided not to since it is free online, but you are right, I need to read it. Unfortunately, that won’t be for a while, since I am back in school, and they are making me work like never before.

    But after December 6th, my final, I will hopefully get to it and some other books I have on my reading list, I’ll make sure to let you know what I think.

    Hope your trip is going well Peter, and looking forward to your upcoming book on it.

  • If I might suggest, a very good starting place for readings on economics is the daily essays produced by Mises.org
    http://www.mises.org/articles.aspx
    (you can subscribe to it, as well).
    I don’t agree with everything they say, but certainly there is a wealth of sound economic concepts there.

    Start with this piece on the idiocy of “shipping jobs overseas”:
    The Nation That Lost Its Jobs, But Got Them Back
    http://www.mises.org/story/1378

    Another good source of information for the newbie is to be found in Walter Williams’ essays for JWR and/or Townhall.com:
    http://www.townhall.com/opinion/contributors/walterwilliams/archive/2005/
    (Sowell also writes occasional pieces there on economics, but Williams is more consistently on economic topics and notions)

    As another suggestion, I found P.J. O’Rourke’s “Eat The Rich” to be amusing and filled with enlightening tidbits.

  • For those of you that are interested in what’s happening in Canada, this is a good place ot go:
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  • Great site, thanks for the link Adam. For those who speak french, CEP News also publishes a weekly video summarizing what happened in the economy in a way people can understand… http://finances.sympatico.msn.ca/Accueil/

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