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Economics reading recommendations

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This page lists reading recommendations for people interested in economics.

Core recommendations

We strongly recommend beginning your explorations in economics by reading one or more of these books, or equivalent books that you can find elsewhere if none of these are available.


These books use real-world examples and a minimum of mathematical formalism to explain key economic concepts.

Book Author ISBN and purchase links Notable reviews
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science Charles Wheelan ISBN 978-0393337648, Amazon paperback
The Undercover Economist Timothy Harford ISBN 978-0345494016, Amazon paperback
Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life David Friedman ISBN 978-0887308857, Amazon paperback
The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life Steven Landsburg ISBN 978-1451651737, Amazon paperback
The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume 1 (Microeconomics) Yoran Bauman, Grady Klein ISBN 978-0809094813, Amazon paperback Bryan Caplan on EconLog


Some books that are in a similar vein, but that we do not recommend as strongly, are listed below. If you are unable to procure the above books, and/or would like additional books, you may consider these.

Book Author ISBN and purchase links
The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas Robert H. Frank ISBN 978-0465003570, Amazon paperback
Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist Tyler Cowen ISBN 978-0452289635, Amazon paperback
Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies: And Other Pricing Puzzles Richard B. McKenzie ISBN 978-0387769998, Amazon paperback