Book Recommendations

Back to Extra Stuff
Occasionally people ask for recommendations for further reading. Here is a preliminary response.
Harford is able to able to explain complicated ideas with simple stories. I wish I could write as well.

Landsburg illustrates economic prinicples with provocative examples, and that can strike the reader either as humorous or irritating.

While Landsburg wants to see how far he can take the assumption that people are rational, Ariely wants to show that it is a bad assumption. This is a simple introduction to behavioral economics.

If you want to invest money, this book is a must-read.

Friedman writes a microeconomic textbook trying to avoid the graphs and equations that usually go with a textbook.
Easterly attacks the idealism of Jeffrey Sach and his belief that with proper policies, the U.S. and the other rich nations could eliminate world poverty.
Milton Friedman's classic libertarian manifesto, written in the 1960s when these ideas where considered outrageous. Maybe a few readers will still consider them outrageous.
In this excellent introduction to the history of economic thought, Buchholz shows how the ideas developed by the pioneers of economics are still used.
Naked economics was one of the early pop-economics books. It may have the catchy title.
A Term at the Fed is the best popular book on the Fed and monetary policy, though with the dramatic changes in Fed policy in late 2008, it may now all be obsolete.
De Soto argues the failure of economic development is caused by a failure to develop appropriate property rights. As one of the quotes that starts a chapter says, History does not repeat, but it rhymes. A panic is a panic.
On the best-seller lists for months, Levitt shows what a good statistican can find by analysing data.
A look at the development of financial economics, this book is part Malkiel and part Buchholz. Not enough people learned much from this tale of the rise and fall of a lot of very smart people, because if they had, we would not have had the financial panic of 2008. Robert Frank's entry in the popular economics derby.
If you want an optimistic view on ending world poverty, you will love Sachs book.]
The first half is Greenspan's autobiographical and is easy to read. The second half contains his advice for the future and is much drier. There is surprisingly little about the Federal Reserve.
A comprehensive and scholarly history of the early Federal Reserve, it is not a book for beginners. But if you are serious about monetary history and policy and have enough background, it is an excellent book.
This book has a great deal of content compacted into very few pages. The author knew the subject well, but did not footnote enough for the reader to follow up on topics that might interest him.

There are many other excellent books about economics, and some of them are better than the books I listed here, but because I have not yet read them, I cannot evaluate them.

Back to Extra Stuff

Dec 18, 2008