The Library of Economics and Liberty (Econlib) is dedicated to advancing the study of economics, markets, and liberty. It offers a unique combination of resources for students, teachers, researchers, and aficionados of economic thought.
The website is provided by Liberty Fund, Inc., a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. The Foundation develops, supervises, and finances its own educational activities, with the goal of fostering discussion and thought on enduring topics pertaining to the creation and maintenance of such a society.
The site features
- Monthly featured articles and essays. More
- Daily economics blog posts with reader comments. More
- Weekly economics podcast episodes with reader comments. More
- Authoritative editions of classics in economics, and related works in history, political theory and philosophy. Videos of renowned economists and contemporary live events. More
- Definitions and explanations of economics terms and ideas, plus biographies of renowned economists via the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. More
- Guides to reading suggestions, annotated bibliographies, links to the most commonly-used economics data bases, and other educational resources organized by topic and educational level, for those looking for ideas and guidance for further readings. More
- @Econlib on Twitter. More related Twitter options.
- Econlib on Facebook.
- Numerous awards for Best Blog, Best Podcast, and other online recognition and reviews. More
About the Articles and Columns
Econlib publishes three to four new economics articles and columns each month. The latest articles and columns are made available to the public on the first Monday of each month.
All Econlib articles and columns are written exclusively for us at the Library of Economics and Liberty, on various economics topics by renowned professors, researchers, and journalists worldwide. All articles and columns are retained online free of charge for public readership. Many articles and columns are discussed in concurrent comments and debate in our blog, EconLog.
Please contact us if you would like to ask about reprints or translations.
The Articles. The monthly Featured Article is written by a selected author and is reviewed by our editorial staff. Articles cover a range of issues illustrating economics ideas in practice. The level ranges from introductory to post-college, with each article always covering some basic economic concept and an illustration of how it applies to daily life. The Features Editor, David R. Henderson, heads up this area of the site.
The Columns. Econlib carries two monthly columns, Reflections from Europe, by Anthony de Jasay, and An Economist Looks at Europe, by Pedro Schwartz, focusing on economic issues of topical concern to Europe.
A former column, Reflections from Latin America, by Ibsen Martinez, focused on economic issues of topical concern to Latin America.
The Library of Economics and Liberty features the popular daily blog, EconLog. Bloggers Bryan Caplan, David Henderson, Alberto Mingardi, Scott Sumner, Pierre Lemieux and other and guests write on topical economics of interest to them, illuminating subjects from politics and finance, to recent films and cultural observations, to history and literature. EconLog aims to educate, entice, and excite readers into thinking about economics in daily analyses. Readers are invited to comment.
For more information on EconLog, see:
Econlib carries the podcast, EconTalk, hosted by Russ Roberts. The weekly talk show features one-on-one discussions with an eclectic mix of authors, professors, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, leaders of charities and businesses, and people on the street. The emphases are on using topical books and the news to illustrate economic principles. Exploring how economics emerges in practice is a primary theme.
Listeners are able to comment online on recent podcast episodes. All current and prior episodes are archived and available free of charge. Podcast episode discussion and questions for personal or classroom use are offered on selected episodes as EconTalk Extras–blog posts–and as teaching-oriented Listening Guides.
EconTalk got started in March 2006 with podcast episodes every two weeks, and went weekly in the summer of 2006. New episodes are released on Monday mornings. They are available for listening on any computer, mp3 player, or smartphone, and are also distributed through iTunes and other intermediary services.
For more information on EconTalk, see:
About the Econlib Books and Videos
The books and essays on this website represent classics of economic thought, both historical and modern. New books are being added at the rate of about two per month. The books are presented free of charge for the purpose of reading and research. Browse by author or search books for keywords.
The videos include recent symposia featuring renowned economists representing different viewpoints and interviews with distinguished economists and Nobel Prize winners from the Intellectual Portrait Series, which have previously only been available on DVD.
The features of the web site include:
- A powerful search engine for the books that culls and reports the surrounding paragraph rather than just links to the pages.
- Pages that are easy to print, with optimally pre-set page-widths.
- Properly-formatted citations with the click of a button.
- Texts that are carefully proofread to originals.
- Paragraphs that are numbered for reference and as instant locational guides even within long chapters.
- Tables that are legibly aligned, and replicate elements such as brace brackets. Original graphs, quotations in Greek, and artwork of historic interest are seamlessly integrated as gifs or jpgs.
- A Table of Contents for each book in a slide-out frame, which the user can hide or reveal.
- Footnotes that are linked to the files and, for those books that are annotated by an academic editor, are color-coded by authorship.
- Fonts and visual presentations that have been chosen with care, offering extra white space on the page to ease readers’ eyes.
- Page number references in original text and footnotes that are converted to appropriate links for easy navigation in many books.
- A variety of tools, including a calculator, a notepad, and reference links to online dictionaries are easily accessible from each book’s Table of Contents.
More information on how to use the tools and features can be found on the Help page.
See also The Online Library of Liberty (OLL), also provided by Liberty Fund, Inc., which contains many additional books.
About the Encyclopedia
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.
The second edition of this book came out in December, 2007. It is available both in print (through Liberty Fund, Inc.) and online here at Econlib. The 1st edition continues to be available online at Econlib.
For more information, see:
About the Guides
The newcomer to Econlib can find the resources here overwhelming. There are so many books, articles, and media items available that it is hard to know where to begin.
Econlib offers several guides that can serve as roadmaps and starting points for newcomers. Examples include:
- Ten Key Ideas, introducing fundamental ideas for someone who wants to get started understanding economics but does not know where to begin.
- College Economics Topics, organizing economic concepts to accompany a variety of college principles and introductory micro and macro textbooks.
- High School Economics Topics, organizing introductory economics materials according to the National Council for Economic Education’s 51 economics concepts for high school classes.
- Economics Podcast Listening Guides. These printable worksheets offer questions to accompany some of the podcast episodes on EconTalk.
The guides are written and updated by various Econlib editors and Liberty Fund staff.
More guides are available on the Guides page.
Lauren F. Landsburg, Editor. Lauren Landsburg is an economist and private computer consultant in Rochester, New York. She migrated into computer programming while running a side-business specializing in typesetting textbooks using her own software based on TeX. Before that, she taught economics at the University of Rochester and served on the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Reagan and G. H. Bush. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, preceded by an A.M. in Chinese from Yale University. She became interested in international finance after she noticed that classical Chinese texts regularly reported money supply figures. She is a co-author of a textbook, Macroeconomics, and has published in the Journal of Applied Econometrics. She is a founding member and director of EAR, a private not-for-profit teaching English as a second language to immigrants and refugees in Rochester, New York.
Russell Roberts, Associate Editor, founder and host of EconTalk, and founding advisory board member of the Library of Economics and Liberty.
Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than eight million views on YouTube, been subtitled in eleven languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world.
His latest book is How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014). It takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and applies them to modern life.
He is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity (Princeton University Press, 2008) tells the story of wealth creation and the unseen forces around us creating and sustaining economic opportunity. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (MIT Press, 2002) looks at corporate responsibility and a wide array of policy issues including anti-poverty programs, consumer protection, and the morality of the marketplace. His first book, The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism (Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2006) is on international trade policy and the human consequences of international trade. It was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books of 1994 by the Financial Times. Roberts blogs at CafeHayek.com and archives his work at russroberts.info.
A three-time teacher of the year, Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis (where he was the founding director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning), the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
David R. Henderson, Features Editor. David Henderson retired as a Full Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is also a Research Fellow with the Hoover Institution. Before coming to the Naval Postgraduate School, Henderson was the Senior Economist for Health Policy and Energy Policy with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. Henderson has also been on the faculty of Santa Clara University and the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.
He has written in a wide range of scholarly publications and has published over 200 articles and book reviews in magazines and newspapers, including, in declining order of frequency, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, the Red Herring, the Freeman, Reason, and Regulation. One of his specialties is making economics understandable to non-economists. He has written, edited, or co-authored four books, The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics (1993), The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey (2002), Making Great Decisions in Business and Life (2006), and The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (2008). He has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress and has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, the Jim Lehrer Newshour, CNN, and C-SPAN. In 1984, he won the Mencken Award for Best Investigative Journalism Article.
David Henderson blogs on EconLog. See his EconLog Author Archive for a list of his EconLog posts.
Liberty Fund Staff
James Cote, Webmaster. James Cote is a Fellow, and Director of Information Services at the Liberty Fund. Before coming to Liberty Fund, Cote worked as a project leader at MCI and as a computer consultant for companies such as NEC, LTV Steel, the NCUA and Southwest Airlines. He graduated from Trinity University.
Amy Willis, Director and Liberty Fund liaison, is a Liberty Fund Senior Fellow who also works in the Liberty Fund conference program. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds Masters degrees from the University of Delaware and Arizona State University. She taught high school and college economics in Arizona, and served as the Executive Director of the Arizona Council on Economic Education before joining Liberty Fund in 2006. She writes the EconTalk Podcast Listening Guides and contributes many EconTalk Extras.