economics Resources

If you enjoy this blog, you might enjoy some other economics-themed content or you might be interested to learn some economics. This page is a collection of resources that can help you to get started. 

Learning Economics

If you're interested in learning more about economics, the best thing to do is to start reading or to look at some of the free, online courses in economics. 

The best online course that I've seen is MR University, produced by the folks behind the Marginal Revolution blog. It has courses covering micro- and macroeconomics, development economics, finance, trade, and several courses on the history of economic thought. Each one is divided up into bite-size chunks so it's easy to dip in and out of topics that are of interest to you. The other online learning platforms (like Coursera and EdX) have their own courses but I find MRU is the standout. 

There's lots and lots of good economics books out there. A few favourites of mine include: 

  • GDP: An Affectionate History by Diana Coyle, which talks about the role of GDP, what most people think it means and what it actually means. 
  • The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly, which looks at some of the big challenges in development and the limitations of economists who hope to make change. 
  • Specialization and Trade by Arnold Kling, a short read which looks at the beating hard of economics, how it leads to growth, and why growth matters. 
  • The Dictator's Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, which is a wonderful introduction into public choice theory – basically, the economics of how politicians and other leaders make decisions. 
  • Culture of Growth by Joel Mokyr, which looks at humanity managed to escape the grinding poverty after thousands of years and build societies which are unimaginably prosperous compared to 200-300 years ago.
  • The Ultimate Resource, by Julian Simon. An oldie but one of the most influential books I've ever read. Addresses the deep concerns that people have about limited natural resources, and uses economics to demonstrate why these fears are unlikely to ever be realised. 

If you're after something on a specific topic, get in touch and I'm sure I can find something to recommend. If you're after a textbook, I'd recommend starting out with Greg Mankiw's Principles of Economics.  It's pitched at the right level for anyone new to economics and allows them to go deep on a huge number of topics. There's a good reason why this is one of the most popular economics textbooks available! 

 

Other Economics Content

There's a heap of economics blogs out there, but my favourite is Marginal Revolution. This is a daily read for most economists and it covers an incredibly broad variety of topics, from curiosities to new research. It's a great read. I also enjoy Chris Blattman's blog, which has a focus on development, governance, and political economy. It's a narrow focus but it's a blog which gets me thinking with every post. At the more advanced end of the spectrum is The Grumpy Economist, which has a focus on finance, regulation, and taxation. Almost every post makes a substantial contribution to the topic that's being discussed. Each of those blogs has links to other economics blogs, and the first two put out regular posts with links to other interesting content. You could also check out the Freakonomics podcast, which I must admit isn't my cup of tea but is extremely popular.

I also enjoy economics podcasts and there's some good ones available. At the general interest level, you can try out Planet Money from NPR. They take a look at news and big issues and try to make them accessible and understandable to everyone. Another good listen is 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy from the BBC. Each week, the podcast looks into a different invention or technology that allowed us to build the world we live in today. 

A bit more advanced is my favourite podcast, Econtalk. It's a weekly interview series where the host interviews economists, authors, Nobel Prize-winners, policymakers, and others, to dig into the economics of the world around us and how things work. It doesn't require a deep knowledge of economics but there's something for all listeners, from beginners to professors, and there's a 10-year back catalogue which covers just about every topic imaginable. At the more advanced level is Macro Musings, a relatively new podcast which covers the workings of the Federal Reserve and new perspectives in macroeconomic theory. This one does a great job of exploring topics but it's not as accessible as Econtalk.