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When asked by mathematician Stanislaw Ulam whether he could name an idea in economics that was both universally true and not obvious, economist Paul Samuelson’s example was the principle of comparative advantage. That principle was derived by David Ricardo in his 1817 book, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Ricardo’s result, which still holds up […]
The Library of Economics and Liberty carries the popular Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, edited by David R. Henderson.
This highly acclaimed economics encyclopedia was first published in 1993 under the title The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics. It features easy-to-read articles by over 150 top economists, including Nobel Prize winners, over 80 biographies of famous economists, and many tables and charts illustrating economics in action. With David R. Henderson’s permission and encouragement, the Econlib edition of this work includes links, additions, and corrections.
Throughout most of modern history, economic sanctions have preceded or accompanied war, often in the form of a naval blockade intended to weaken the enemy. Only when the horrors of World War I prompted President Woodrow Wilson to call for an alternative to armed conflict were economic sanctions seriously considered. (Wilson claimed that, by themselves, […]
The U.S. welfare system would be an unlikely model for anyone designing a welfare system from scratch. The dozens of programs that make up the “system” have different (sometimes competing) goals, inconsistent rules, and over-lapping groups of beneficiaries. Responsibility for administering the various programs is spread throughout the executive branch of the federal government and […]
Until recently, economists who analyzed sports focused on such things as the antitrust exemption, the alleged cartel behavior of sports leagues, and the player draft (see sports). Sportometrics is different. It is the application of economic theories to the behavior of athletes to explain what they do and to see if what they do can […]
Major league sports, as every reader of the sports pages knows, is a major league business. As a result, economics has a lot to say about how players, teams, and leagues will act under different circumstances. But would you believe that economics can be used to predict which teams will win and which will lose? […]
In macroeconomics, sometimes defined as the theory of the economy as a whole, issues covered include economic growth, fiscal policy, monetary policy, investment, national income accounts, the gold standard, and unemployment.
These entries are on various aspects of the labor market and include discrimination, the gender gap, immigration, job safety, and wages and working conditions.
Governments impose a variety of taxes. The analysis of taxes, therefore, requires multiple entries, including marginal tax rates, corporate taxation, and capital gains taxes.
This category ranges widely over various government policies, but mainly covers economy-wide policies on taxes, government spending, government debt and deficits, redistribution, welfare, and monetary policy.
In 1969 Norwegian Ragnar Frisch, along with Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen, received the first Nobel Prize for economics “for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes.” Frisch received his prize for his pioneering work in econometric modeling and measurement; indeed, Frisch invented the word “econometrics” to refer to the […]
In 2008, U.S. economist Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Krugman, one of the best-known economists in the world, is familiar to the public mainly through his regular column in the New York Times and for his New York Times blog titled “The Conscience of a Liberal.” Besides being an original theorist […]