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Ideas Trigger Change

Economics, as it has been taught historically, often departs from a static analysis of society in which economic activities are in perfect equilibrium. It is only after this baseline is given that more realistic assumptions are added for the economics students to be trained in more practical economic models. To the extent that economic theory .. MORE

Thinking Straight

Backwardation Economy

Time Preference and Market Responses It is common in economic literature to use the term “time preference” to mean a preference for the present over the future. However, this need not be the case. It is counterfactual, but literally true, that if the future is preferred over the present, the marginal holders of present scarce .. MORE

An Economist Looks at Europe

Unilateral Commercial Disarmament

In a Country where Clamour always intimidates and faction often oppresses the Government, the regulations of Commerce are commonly dictated by those who are most interested to deceive and impose upon the Public. Adam Smith1 Few are those who fully understand the workings and benefits of international commerce—especially so, it seems, President Donald Trump. That .. MORE

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Economics of Crime

Does illegal immigration help to reduce crime?

By Scott Sumner

Business Economics

 Boeing, Culture, and Responsibility

By Dennis Murphy

Cross-country Comparisons

A Charter City for Egypt?

By Scott Sumner

Business Economics

Should We Care if Legacy Media Dies?

By Art Carden

Conversation Arts: Civility, Incivility, and Persuasion

The Secrets of Great Conversation (with Charles Duhigg)

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Thoughts on Huemer vs Friedman

By Kevin Corcoran

Government Growth

My Weekly Reading and Viewing for February 25, 2024

By David Henderson


The Problem with Doves

By Scott Sumner


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Dana Gioia on Learning, Poetry, and Studying with Miss Bishop

Poet and author Dana Gioia talks about his book Studying with Miss Bishop with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. They talk about the craft of being a poet, the business world, mentorship, loss, why poetry no longer seems to matter, and how it might begin to matter again.


Richard Reinsch on the Enlightenment, Tradition, and Populism

Richard Reinsch, editor of Law and Liberty and the host of the podcast Liberty Law Talk, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Enlightenment. Topics discussed include the search for meaning, the stability of liberalism, the rise of populism, and Solzhenitsyn’s indictment of Western values from his Harvard Commencement Address of 1978.  


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Cross-country Comparisons

A Charter City for Egypt?

A few weeks back, I blogged on the successful economies in the Persian Gulf area: I used to believe that Norway was unique—an oil-rich country with an equally high quality non-oil sector.  Now I wonder if the Gulf states are not becoming successful in much the same way.  I hope so, as the world needs .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Thoughts on Huemer vs Friedman

Recently, David Friedman posted a response to an argument from Michael Huemer about when one should defer to experts or attempt to figure out the truth of some issue directly. David Friedman argued more in the direction of working out the truth directly, while Huemer seemed to argue more in favor of deferring to experts. .. MORE


Explore the lasting legacies and
continued relevance of our classic titles.

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Fabian Essays in Socialism

By George Bernard Shaw

In 1884 The Fabian Society was founded in England with the aim of bringing about a socialist society by means of intellectual debate, the publication of books and pamphlets, and the “permeation” of socialist ideas into the universities, the press, government institutions, and political parties. This was in marked contrast to the other means of .. MORE

The Postulates of English Political Economy

By Walter Bagehot

Mr. Bagehot left behind him some materials for a book which promised to make a landmark in the history of economics, by separating the use of the older, or Ricardian, economic reasonings from their abuse, and freeing them from the discredit into which they had fallen through being often misapplied. Unfortunately he did not complete .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Put Away the Puppets

By Maria Pia Paganelli

A Book Review of Escaping Paternalism: Rationality, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy, by Mario J. Rizzo and Glen Whitman.1 Are you saving enough for retirement? How do you know? How can I tell? What if there is a benchmark against which to compare your savings? If you meet it, all is well. But what if .. MORE

What Should Economists Do Now?

By Mikayla Novak

A Book Review of Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be, by Diane Coyle.1 Economics has arguably been under greater scrutiny than ever before. Its ontological premises, methodological postulates, conceptual insights, and analytical techniques are under intense appraisal within the academy, with social scientists from non-economic disciplines and even heterodox economists .. MORE



Profile in Liberty: Friedrich A. Hayek

The twentieth century witnessed the unparalleled expansion of government power over the lives and livelihoods of individuals. Much of this was the result of two devastating world wars and totalitarian ideologies that directly challenged individual liberty and the free institutions of the open society. Other forms of expansion in the provision of social welfare and .. MORE


A Conversation with Harold Demsetz

A professor at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago in the 1960s and a primary figure in Chicago School Economics and in the field of Law and Economics, Harold Demsetz has contributed original research on the theory of the firm, regulation in markets, industrial organization, antitrust policy, transaction costs, externalities, and .. 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

Economic Regulation, Government Policy

Drug Lag

The modern history of drug regulation in the United States has been marked by the simultaneous pursuit of two goals—safety and efficacy. Since passage of the 1962 amendments to the Food and Drug Act, most members of the medical and regulatory establishment have regarded those two goals as complementary. By the early seventies, however, critics .. MORE

Government Policy, Macroeconomics, Schools of Economic Thought


Monetarism is a macroeconomic school of thought that emphasizes (1) long-run monetary neutrality, (2) short-run monetary nonneutrality, (3) the distinction between real and nominal interest rates, and (4) the role of monetary aggregates in policy analysis. It is particularly associated with the writings of Milton Friedman, Anna Schwartz, Karl Brunner, and Allan Meltzer, with early .. MORE

Basic Concepts, Economic Systems, The Marketplace

Free Market

“ Free market” is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents. These two individuals (or agents) exchange two economic goods, either tangible commodities or nontangible services. Thus, when I buy .. MORE


Entrepreneurship does not consist of grasping a free ten-dollar which one has already discovered to be resting on one’s hand; it consists in realizing that it is in one’s hand and that it is available for grasping.

-Israel Kirzner

The real advantage which truth has consists in this, that when an opinion is true, it may be extinguished once, twice, or many times, but in the course of ages there will generally be found persons to rediscover it, until some one of its reappearances  falls on a time when from favourable circumstances it escapes ...

-John Stuart Mill Full Quote >>

The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

-Frederic Bastiat Full Quote >>