Pursuit of Truthiness

my gut tells me I know economics

Intro to Economics Recommended Reading

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*The following is the list I am giving my Principles class.  I tried to focus on blogs and books that are 1)primarily about economics 2)understandable by someone with no econ background and 3) not deadly boring.   I look forward to comments and suggestions*

Principles of Macro Recommended Reading

Daily News:

Financial Times

New York Times

Wall Street Journal


The Economist Magazine: Analysis of world economic and political news


Econtalk: A weekly podcast featuring interviews with interesting and often well-known people on economics-related subjects.  The archives go back to 2006 and most are not “dated”.

The Economist: some material from the magazine can be found in podcast form for free on iTunes.

Planet Money: National Public Radio’s tri-weekly podcast, easy to understand


Becker-Posner Blog: Nobel prize-winner Gary Becker and father of Law and Economics Richard Posner debate an issue once a week.

Freakonomics: The authors of the book Freakonomics do more non-traditional applications of economics

Free Exchange: The economics blog of the Economist magazine, with clear analysis and daily links to the best economics writing

Marginal Revolution: In my opinion the best economics blog.  Updated daily, sometimes technical but usually accessible.

Overcoming Bias: A unique outlook based on economics, signaling and status.  Focus on prediction markets and the far future.

Paul Krugman:  The most active econ-Nobel-prize blogger.  Very good when he isn’t being a partisan, and not to be dismissed lightly even when he is.

Extra Credit:  Read one of the following books.  Come to office hours prepared to discuss the book for at least 10 minutes.  What parts were most interesting?  What did our class help you understand about the book, or what did the book help you understand about our class?  What did you disagree with or have questions about in the book?

If our discussion convinces me that you have read and thought about the book, you will get up to 5 points added to your final course grade.


Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman: The great economist puts forward a lot of ideas about how to improve public policy.  All the ideas were new and radical when the book was written in 1962; today a few have been implemented and seem normal, while others may still surprise most readers.

Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner: Applies economic methods to non-economics subjects in interesting ways.  This book is a good introduction to the power of econometrics / statistics.

Superfreakonomics, Levitt and Dubner: More application of economic ways of thinking to interesting non-economic subjects.

The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman: A readable introduction to a “globalizing” economy.  Many interesting stories.

The Worldly Philosophers, Robert Heilbronner: A book about the lives and ideas of some of the best and most interesting economists.


Written by James Bailey

May 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

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