An Economics Reading List


Buchanan, James M. and Richard E. Wagner, Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes, specifically Chapter 8, Money-Financed Deficits and Political Democracy.

Cagan, Philip, Persistent Inflation

Gordon, Robert J., (ed.), Milton Friedman’s Monetary Framework: A Debate with His Critics

Friedman, Milton & Anna Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States

Mises, Ludwig von, The Theory of Money and Credit

Newcomb, Simon The A B C of Finance, 1877

    Written for the popular press to explain the basics of an unchecked increase in the money supply on debt and wage contracts, The ABC of Finance delights with refreshing language and entertaining analogies. Newcomb’s chapter on the production process is echoed in Read’s I, Pencil; that on the effects of unexpected inflations on labor supply and business cycles presages Lucas and Rapping’s 1972 “Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation.” His ability to use simple language to illustrate complex economic points runs throughout the book. Consider this aside, poking at “starvation wages”:

    A few weeks ago it was said that several railroads of the country lowered the wages of their men to the starvation point. Now, I confess that I do not know what the “starvation point” is, and so cannot say whether this is true or not; but I will remark, in passing, that there has been within the past year or two a great fall in the price of nearly everything necessary to the laborer’s comfort; and that starvation wages will buy a great deal more than they would two or three years ago. (Lesson III, par. 1)

    Simon Newcomb, Canadian-born, home-educated astronomer and mathematician whose work at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington and at Johns Hopkins included accurate orbital calculations for Neptune, Uranus, and the moon, wrote extensively on economics. His several expository works in economics included a popular principles book. His motivating interests included individual property rights and the economic freedoms, security, and opportunities that governments can provide by their constitutions, laws, and consistent behavior, along with an attention to empirical detail. Difficulty Level 0: High school

Romer, Christine and David Romer, (eds.), Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy

Sargent, Thomas, The Conquest of American Inflation

Taylor, John, (ed.), Monetary Policy Rules

See also: Money Demand and Supply.