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Best Economics Textbooks


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#1 Mezriss

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:18 AM

I plan on studying economics this summer independently. Does anyone have any suggestions of economics textbooks that would be best for that purpose?
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#2 Ankur

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:30 AM

send me an email tonight.

also, specify - micro or macro?
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"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas


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#3 U.S.A.

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:55 AM

Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomic by Mankiw. Tese are both pretty good intro to economics books and cover both macro and micro.
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#4 Ankur

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:59 AM

you should specify why you are trying to learn econ. if you are trying to learn econ for the sake of debate, then you dont need a book, you need websites.

if you are trying to learn econ so you can go to college and study business/econ, thats a different story all together.
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"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas


"There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things" - Machiavelli

#5 syme

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 12:36 PM

Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomic by Mankiw. Tese are both pretty good intro to economics books and cover both macro and micro.


I can't vouch for the micro book, but Mankiw's Macro text is great for mainstream macroeconomic theory. It's not very math-based, which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you're studying for (if you're studying it independently, probably less math is better). He has plenty of helpful examples of everything.

Mankiw was Bush's economic advisor and also worked on the Romney campaign, but that doesn't really affect anything in his textbook (he's in line with mainstream economic thought, which isn't the ONLY strand of economic thought, but which is important to understand even if you end up disagreeing with it).

As a general tip for studying econ: Draw the graphs as you read. That's the best way for you to understand and learn the relationships between the variables in all of the models.
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#6 dhanson

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:04 PM

you should specify why you are trying to learn econ. if you are trying to learn econ for the sake of debate, then you dont need a book, you need websites.

if you are trying to learn econ so you can go to college and study business/econ, thats a different story all together.


good point. i think mankiw's book set me back about 100 bucks last semester.
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#7 PhilIanDumer?

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 04:44 PM

I used Mankiw's general intro in high school. Its a really easy read and will get you an intuitive understanding, but won't help with the math much. My suggestion would probably to use it combined with a "Economics with Calculus" type book so that you understand the numerical side, and some source readings of the major critiques of mainstream economic thought. My memory is that although mankiw is politicly right, he is mostly a Keynesian (he is one of the founders of new-keynesianism which gives up on trying to achieve full employment and is more focused on the issue of money supply, but uses the same tools of analysis especially when it come to demand), so you should get that this model is not the only one. Reading some easy works from the far classical side (all the same assumptions when it comes to micro, but a totally different macro theory), and more importantly some marxist economic theorists (shares little with the mainstream, but still very important) will help you find your way latter.
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#8 DeCoach

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:01 AM

If you are looking for basic explanations of economic theories and how they relate to policymaking (ie, how to argue economics issues in debate), a good readable source is the "Economics for Extempers" book that Victory Briefs puts out in their Extemp materials. It is almost completely void of math issues and explains economic concepts from a policymaker standpoint.

Many many years ago when I took macro & micro, we used McConnell's Economics and it was pretty good. I have no idea if a newer/updated version of it is available.

Side note...many years ago (late 70s) my team was running a case on the trade topic that quoted the McConnell book extensively. At the Redlands tournament, we hit Lincoln HS from Lincoln Nebraska, and their 2N was McConnell's daughter. Her 2N began with an overview that her father had a serious drinking problem and that he frequently wrote text materials while "under the influence."

Edited by DeCoach, 30 May 2008 - 12:55 PM.

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