Featured Articles


Subversive Innovation: A Strategic Reading of Nozick’s Framework for Utopia

Most students of political philosophy have had some contact with Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia (ASU)1—specifically Part II. And for good reasons. Part II is essential, not only because it sets out devastating critiques of competing moral-political doctrines but also because it awakens our deepest intuitions about the coercion required to make those doctrines .. MORE

An Economist Looks at Europe

The Rebirth of Classical Political Economy

In their diverse ways, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, James Buchanan and Ronald Coase can be seen as leaders of the group of economists who helped reestablish the philosophy of freedom, economic and political, after the drift of the first part of the 20th century. I could bring more names into the fray but .. MORE

An Economist Looks at Europe

The Fear of Robots

One morning a week I take part in a discussion programme on a Spanish radio station that specializes in economic and business matters. Just before we come on air we hear the day’s expected events and statistics read by a new journalist in the firm: Sarah Bot, a very young robot with a strange voice. .. MORE

Most Recent

Central Planning

Tucker Carlson: Putin’s Tool, Economic Fool

By Tyler Watts

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Resolving Definitional Disputes

By Kevin Corcoran

Economic Philosophy

A Dangerous Philosophical Confusion

By Pierre Lemieux

Information Goods, Intellectual Property

Gemini on David R. Henderson

By David Henderson

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


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The Secrets of Great Conversation (with Charles Duhigg)

When EconTalk’s Russ Roberts sat down with Charles Duhigg to talk about his new book on the art of conversation, Supercommunicators, Roberts tried to apply some of its lessons to his conversation with the author. The result is this special conversation between two people eager to connect and communicate. Enjoy.


paper TOWELS or PAPER towels

Emergent order has long been a common EconTalk theme, and this fascinating episode is no exception. This week, host Russ Roberts welcomed Columbia University linguist John McWhorter to the program to discuss the evolution of language and his new book, Words on the Move. Language as an emergent order has also long been a theme .. MORE


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Economics of Crime

Does Illegal Immigration Help to Reduce Crime?

The Heritage Foundation recently reported some very frightening data on illegal migration and crime: Increased Illegal Immigration Brings Increased Crime: Almost 2/3 of Federal Arrests Involve Noncitizens . . . A 2021 Department of Justice report revealed that 64% of federal arrests in 2018 involved noncitizens, despite them comprising only 7% of the population at that time. This has .. MORE

Business Economics

Should We Care if Legacy Media Dies?

Does hydra-headed social media mean the end of legacy media outlets like the New York Times and local newspapers? I recall a letter to the Birmingham News fretting that blogging “nuts” rather than professional journalists might someday influence policy. Should we care that much if newspapers and other legacy media outlets die? I don’t think .. MORE


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

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Book Titles

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“Constitution or Competition? Alternative Views on Monetary Reform”

By Pamela J. Brown

Money, for practically as long as it has existed, has been employed to realize two fundamentally different sorts of goals: production or plunder. In a market economy, private individuals routinely use monetary institutions in a cooperative way to achieve voluntary exchanges of goods and services. Political authorities, by contrast, use monetary institutions in a non-cooperative .. MORE

On Liberty

By John Stuart Mill

THE SUBJECT of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. A question seldom stated, and hardly ever discussed, in general .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Balaji-land: Getting From Here to There

By Arnold Kling

A network state is a social network with a moral innovation, a sense of national consciousness, a recognized founder, a capacity for collective action, an in-person level of civility, an integrated cryptocurrency, a consensual government limited by a social smart contract, an archipelago of crowdfunded physical territories, a virtual capital, and an on-chain census that .. MORE

The War That Never Ends

By Nathan Goodman

A Book Review of Manufacturing Militarism: U.S. Government Propaganda in the War on Terror, by Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall.1 It’s been over 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. Ever since those horrible attacks, the United States government has been waging a “war on terror” both at home and abroad. The war on .. MORE



A Conversation with James M. Buchanan, Parts I and II

Nobel laureate James M. Buchanan (1919-2013) was recorded in 2001 in an extended video now available to the public. Universally respected as one of the founders of the economics of public choice, he is the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles in the areas of public finance, public choice, constitutional economics, and economic .. MORE


An Animal That Trades

A five-part short video series on the life and contemporary relevance of Adam Smith. This video series, produced by AdamSmithWorks, can be watch as a full 38-minute feature, or in five thematic, classroom-friendly chunks. To access all, click here.   Below are some discussion prompts related to this video:   Part 1: The Invisible Hand .. 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, Schools of Economic Thought, Taxes

Supply-Side Economics

The term “supply-side economics” is used in two different but related ways. Some use the term to refer to the fact that production (supply) underlies consumption and living standards. In the long run, our income levels reflect our ability to produce goods and services that people value. Higher income levels and living standards cannot be .. MORE

Basic Concepts

Opportunity Cost

When economists refer to the “opportunity cost” of a resource, they mean the value of the next-highest-valued alternative use of that resource. If, for example, you spend time and money going to a movie, you cannot spend that time at home reading a book, and you cannot spend the money on something else. If your .. MORE

Economic Regulation, Government Policy, Labor, Taxes, The Economics of Special Markets, The Marketplace

Health Insurance

The Birth of the “Blues” In the 1930s and 1940s, a competitive market for health insurance developed in many places in the United States. Typically, premiums tended to reflect risks, and insurers aggressively monitored claims to keep costs down and prevent abuses. Following World War II, however, the market changed radically. Hospitals had created Blue .. MORE


The power of a theory is exactly proportional to the diversity of situations it can explain.

-Elinor Ostrom

Among the works of man which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself.

-John Stuart Mill Full Quote >>

There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen. Selected Essays on Political Economy

-Frederic Bastiat Full Quote >>