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Book Review, Kling's Corner

The Role of “We” Versus the Role of “I”

All countries and cultures have three basic institutions. There is the economy, which is about the creation and distribution of wealth. There is the state, which is about the legitimization and distribution of power. And there is the moral system, which is the voice of society within the self; the “We” within the “I”…. —Jonathan .. MORE

Book Review, Kling's Corner

A Keynesian’s Macroeconomic History

One main reason why rational expectations macroeconomics, in particular its implication that the Phillips Curve for anticipated changes in money is vertical even in the short run, caught on was the allegation that the incumbent Keynesian tradition had failed to either control or explain high inflation. “Failed to control,” I suppose, is true, though the .. MORE

Reflections from Europe

Thank Heaven for an Inefficient Market: A Tale of Zombies and Speculators

Since the series of banking and stock market mishaps of the last eighteen months, there is an intense revival of interest in the “efficient market” theory of exchange-traded asset prices. The theory proposes that the prices reflect all the available information relevant to them. Various inferences have been drawn from this. One is that since .. MORE

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Conversation Arts: Civility, Incivility, and Persuasion

Yossi Klein Halevi on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Business Economics

Profits Drive Inflation If No Consumer Resistance?

By Pierre Lemieux

Economics of Crime

Drug War Propaganda

By Scott Sumner


A Passionate Panel on Parking. Really?

By David Henderson

Artificial Intelligence

Confabulatory and Comforting and Utterly Groovy

By Amy Willis

Economic Education

Costs and the Entrepreneurial Mindset

By Jon Murphy

Economics of Crime

Should Mexico Attack the USA?

By Scott Sumner

International Trade

A Surprise About Canada’s Mac and Cheese

By David Henderson

Business Economics

Failure is a Feature, Not a Bug

By Art Carden


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Daniel Gordis on Israel and Impossible Takes Longer

As Israel turns 75, has it fulfilled the promise of its founders? Daniel Gordis of Shalem College talks about his book, Impossible Takes Longer, with EconTalk’s Russ Roberts looking at the successes and failures of Israel. Topics discussed include the history of Zionism, the plight of the Palestinians, the Jewishness of the Jewish state, and .. MORE


Tyler Cowen and Russ Roberts on Nation, Immigration, and Israel

Can Israeli society survive the loss of universal military service? Will the deregulation of Israel’s kosher supervision spell the end of its Jewish character? And, speaking of Israel, what is it that makes its television dramas so good? Tyler Cowen discusses these and other subjects with EconTalk host Russ Roberts, new immigrant to Israel and .. MORE


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Business Economics

Profits Drive Inflation If No Consumer Resistance?

It is a strange opinion that profits—or for that matter wages—“drive” inflation, but it does help an economist maintain a spirit of tolerance and see a pedagogical opportunity in every error. A Wall Street Journal reporter is at it again with a story of yesterday titled “Outsize Profits Helped Drive Inflation. Now Consumers Are Pushing .. MORE

Economic Education

Costs and the Entrepreneurial Mindset

We often hear that profits get a bad rap. But costs are just as often cause for complaint. Many economists treat costs as friction that can create market failures.  For example, barriers to entry are blamed for monopolies.  Private solutions to externalities are often deemed impossible if transaction costs are too high.  Public goods must .. MORE


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Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. III. The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole

By Karl Marx

One of Econlib’s aims is to put online the most significant works in the history of economic thought, and there can be no doubting the significance of Marx’s influence on both economic theory in the late 19th century and on the creation of Marxist states in the 20th century. From the time of the emergence .. MORE

John Hopkins’s Notions on Political Economy

By Jane Haldimand Marcet

THE miscellaneous character of the following Tracts is accounted for by their having been written at different periods. Some of them were published, with the Author’s permission, about two years ago, by a Society established in Glamorganshire for the improvement of the labouring classes. It will be obvious to the reader, that it is for .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Raj Chetty on Economic Mobility

Economist Raj Chetty of Harvard University talks about his work on economic mobility with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The focus is on Chetty’s recent co-authored study in Nature where he finds that poor people in America who are only connected to other poor people do dramatically worse financially than poor people who are connected to .. MORE

The Sky Is Falling (Again): Two Cheers for Decadence, and a Third for a Return to Capitalism!

By Nikolai Wenzel

A Book Review of The Decadent Society (How We Became the Victims of our Own Success), by Ross Douthat.1 New York Times columnist Ross Douthat brings us a breathless and demoralizing story of the decline of Western civilization. The book raises a few meaty points about the Zeitgeist, but it overextends its reach, attempting to .. MORE



A Conversation with Ronald H. Coase

Nobel laureate Ronald H. Coase (1910-2013) was recorded in 2001 in an extended video now available to the public. Coase’s articles, “The Problem of Social Cost” and “The Nature of the Firm” are among the most important and most often cited works in the whole of economic literature. Coase recounts how he tried to encourage .. MORE


A Conversation with Israel Kirzner

Israel Kirzner, Professor Emeritus at NYU, is among the foremost scholars in the continuing development of the Austrian school of economic theory. He has extended our understanding of the workings of a free society, illuminated the role of entrepreneurs in the process of economic discovery, and shed new light on the dynamics of market forces. .. MORE

Econlib Videos

Intellectual Portrait Series

Conversations with some of the most original thinkers of our time

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College Economics Topics

Supplementary materials for popular college textbooks used in courses in the Principles of Economics, Microeconomics, Price Theory, and Macroeconomics are suggested by topic.

Economist Biographies

From the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Government Policy, Macroeconomics

Fiscal Sustainability

The population of wealthy countries is getting much older. Between 2005 and 2035, the number of elderly in wealthy countries will more than double, but the number of workers will barely change. This historically unprecedented demographic change portends enormous fiscal stresses because of the high and growing cost of meeting government pension and health-care commitments .. MORE

Corporations and Financial Markets , Government Policy, Taxes

Capital Gains Taxes

What Is Capital? The term “capital” refers to produced goods used to produce future goods. Even a corner lemonade stand could not exist without capital; the lemons and the stand are the essential capital that makes the enterprise operate. A recent study by Dale Jorgenson of Harvard University discovered that almost half of the growth .. MORE

Economic Systems, Government Policy, Labor


The now-defunct apartheid system of South Africa presented a fascinating instance of interest-group competition for political advantage. In light of the extreme human rights abuses stemming from apartheid, it is remarkable that so little attention has been paid to the economic foundations of that torturous social structure. The conventional view is that apartheid was devised .. MORE


It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

-Frederic Bastiat

There is a fact still more astounding: the absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.

-Leonard E. Read Full Quote >>

Today it is almost heresy to suggest that scientific knowledge is not the sum of all knowledge. But a little reflection will show that there is beyond question a body of very important but unorganized knowledge which cannot possibly be called scientific in the sense of knowledge of general rules: the knowledge of the particular ...

-F. A. Hayek Full Quote >>