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    Thought I'd post this here instead of the economics forum as it is related to political theory/philosophy. I'd like to start understanding more economics (being essentially economically illiterate) and wanted a book that was more related to the kind of discussions we have in this forum. Not sure if this would just be macroeconomics (can't see microeconomics being useful in discussing distributive principles). Even better would be a book discussing and explaining the different schools of economics (neoclassical,austrian,marxist)-preferably without a stance on which is better. I would be able to cope with graphs and basic maths but nothing near econometrics please. So has anyone got a good suggestion for such a book (even better if they've read it)?
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    Macroeconomics:
    *Macroeconomics, Mankiw
    *Macroeconomics, Blanchard

    Microeconomics:
    *Microeconomics, Morgan, Katz and Rosen
    *Intermediate Microeconomics, Varian
    *Games of Strategy, Dixit and Skeath

    Reading a selection of the following should put you in good stead.
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    Neoclassical/Austrian:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vienna-Chica...5816709&sr=8-1
    Very nice imo and even though it does not account for all the differences between neoclassical and Austrian economics, it does explain the fundamental differences between the Chicago school and the Austrian school of economics.

    Marxian economics:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Analytical-F...5817253&sr=8-2
    This is Roemer's book. Nuff said

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marxs-Capita...5817358&sr=1-3
    Nice Das Kapital (basically the foundation of marxian economics so you'd better read this first, before Roemer) intro.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alternatives...5817539&sr=1-1
    This is a critique of both capitalist economics and Marxian economics from an... analytical marxist point of view :p: (Jon Elster)

    Keynesian economics:
    ...I have no clue tbh. They are annoying.

    edit: macroeconomics = fail.
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    Interesting to see you've all started with textbooks. Actually a better introduction to "the economist's way of thinking" would be where I started; popular economics books: Freakonomics, the Armchair Economist, More Sex is Safer Sex, the Undercover Economist, the Logic of Life. Fun, light-hearted reads ( so long as you don't take their political stances too seriously :p: ) that teach you to look at supposedly "obvious" things from a different perspective.

    Once you've got a handle on that, feel free to go for the textbooks. In my experience the kind of stuff you may like -- verbal reasoning, intuitive models of human behavior -- are found generally in Austrian economics, and the stuff you mentioned disliking -- complex econometric models, equations, etc. -- are found in orthodox economics. Although others may differ.

    I've heard good things about Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson (free; online apparently!?), and Economics for Real People; an Introduction to the Austrian School got good reviews on amazon. I enjoyed Mencius Moldbug's a Crash Course in Sound Economics but it's well established that I'm a pretty odd fellow; your mileage may vary.
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    I haven't read it all, but the parts of David Friedman's Price Theory that I have read, I've found to be excellent. The fact that it's online might help, too.
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    If you want to understand Marxist economics, or at least Marx's economics (important distinction), then the best place to look is David Harvey's "Reading Marx's Capital" lecture series. He talks you through the whole of Kapital, explaining and guiding you through the book. I found it a great way to understand Marx's work.
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    I've just bought this for my economic module and it starts from the very basics and works up to a modest level (I'm not sure) but covers both macro- and microeconomics and assumes you have no prior knowledge of economics.
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    Interesting to see you've all started with textbooks. Actually a better introduction to "the economist's way of thinking" would be where I started; popular economics books: Freakonomics, the Armchair Economist, More Sex is Safer Sex, the Undercover Economist, the Logic of Life. Fun, light-hearted reads ( so long as you don't take their political stances too seriously :p: ) that teach you to look at supposedly "obvious" things from a different perspective.

    Once you've got a handle on that, feel free to go for the textbooks. In my experience the kind of stuff you may like -- verbal reasoning, intuitive models of human behavior -- are found generally in Austrian economics, and the stuff you mentioned disliking -- complex econometric models, equations, etc. -- are found in orthodox economics. Although others may differ.

    I've heard good things about Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson (free; online apparently!?), and Economics for Real People; an Introduction to the Austrian School got good reviews on amazon. I enjoyed Mencius Moldbug's a Crash Course in Sound Economics but it's well established that I'm a pretty odd fellow; your mileage may vary.
    More that I can't be bothered to learn calculus. I haven't done maths since GCSE.
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    Spin Free Economics would be a great start..
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    (Original post by SunOfABeach)
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    Have you read Sowell's Basic Economics? I've read parts of it and that's good (for the OP).
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    It was only today that some nutter in the Times was arguing how the pharmaceuticals industry isn't evil.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    More that I can't be bothered to learn calculus. I haven't done maths since GCSE.
    Fair enough; although I consider myself pretty well versed in microeconomics and Austrian macro and I haven't had to use calculus yet...
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    Fair enough; although I consider myself pretty well versed in microeconomics and Austrian macro and I haven't had to use calculus yet...
    Heh,there was some joke I heard lately about Austrian School Economists as being bad at mathematics! Though I'm sure as a CS student you know calculus...
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    (Original post by Folderol)
    Have you read Sowell's Basic Economics? I've read parts of it and that's good (for the OP).
    Yes I have. It's a general econ book (hasn't got much info on any particular school of economics) though and it's kinda huge.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    More that I can't be bothered to learn calculus. I haven't done maths since GCSE.
    Calculus makes microecon a lot easier to understand (and self-explanatory, really) while without calc you're left wondering where all these relations come from.

    Specifically, knowledge of derivatives and integrals. You don't have to know how to take the integral of xe^xsinx
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    I don't think you'll be able to find a book that clearly and impartially lays out the different schools of thought. other people have given suggestions for Marxian and Austrian economics. I don't really know anything about both schools, so i can't comment on their recommendations. if you want to learn modern mainstream economics, there isn't really any other option than looking at micro and macro textbooks/lecture notes and the maths necessary to understand them (basic calculus). However, if you really want to have an informed opinion on particular areas of policy (income distribution or minimum wages for example), then you really have to look at specialist work in that area. there is a core methodology behind modern micro, but just learning the standard textbook models doesn't really equip you to talk about real world applications in anything other than a completely superficial manner.
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    (Original post by SunOfABeach)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alternatives...5817539&sr=1-1
    This is a critique of both capitalist economics and Marxian economics from an... analytical marxist point of view :p: (Jon Elster)

    Keynesian economics:
    ...I have no clue tbh. They are annoying.

    edit: macroeconomics = fail.
    Read Elster's introduction to Marxism, brilliant book.

    Most the good general books have been suggested. If you want to read something deeper then check out The Road to Serfdom by Hayek - great justification for classical liberalism/libertarianism. You could also look up stuff by Friedman.
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    (Original post by x_LiNk_x)
    *Intermediate Microeconomics, Varian
    This book makes me want to kill myself.

    I recommend Katz and Rosen for introductory Micro, Mankiw for Macro.
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    (Original post by fox_the_fix)
    Read Elster's introduction to Marxism, brilliant book.

    Most the good general books have been suggested. If you want to read something deeper then check out The Road to Serfdom by Hayek - great justification for classical liberalism/libertarianism. You could also look up stuff by Friedman.
    Read Elster's book which is, I agree, fantastic. His 'Making sense of Marx' is excellent although considerably more demanding. I've read most of Cohen's KMTH so I'm actually pretty well briefed on Marxist economics.
 
 
 
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