An Economics Reading List

Information, Markets, and Spontaneous Order

Barry, Norman, “The Tradition of Spontaneous Order,” Literature of Liberty. See, in particular, the Bibliography.

Hayek, Friedrich A., “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” American Economic Review, 1945

    In F. A. Hayek’s seminal article, he illuminates the real role of markets—the coordination of knowledge and information without anyone being in charge. Hayek argued that markets process more information than could possibly be mastered by a mastermind or even a mastermind working with a computer. It’s one of the most eloquent expositions of how decentralized, unorganized individuals individual decision-making can outperform a central planner. Difficulty Level 2: Graduate School

      Hayek’s insights formed the basis of Leonard Read’s whimsical look at uncontrolled order and the role of markets in coordinating knowledge, “I, Pencil.” Reading both side by side is a fascinating look at economic rhetoric.

Mises, Ludwig, Human Action