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Delving into Misesian Economics

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Nebelwerfer Posted: Mon, Jul 20 2009 8:13 PM

I will be attending Kansas State University this fall and I am trying to bulk up on as much true economic theory before all the Keynesian blabber is shoved down my throat as I get my econ degree.

I was wondering in general what books would be best.

More specifically, though, as I was  reading Rothbard's Preface to Mises' "The Theory of Money and Credit," he talked about Mises applying Menger's and Bohm-Bawerk's micro theory to monetary theory. I mostly wanted to ask would you recommend that I read "Principles of Economics" and "Capital and Interest" before reading more Mises?

I am hoping that before I delve to far into Keynesianism and Socialism that I can read "The Theory of Money and Credit," "Socialism," and "The Failure of the New Economics."

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The 3 books high up on the list for beginners are

  • Principles of Economics by Menger
  • Economics For Real People by Callahan
  • Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt

Mises' Theory of Money and Credit is a nifty little pioneering work. I hear the first volume of Capital and Interest is a good summary and rebuttal of theories of interest. Bohm-Bawerk gets a bit complicated.

Naturally, all of these books are free online here at Mises.org!

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Esuric replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 8:29 PM

Jonathan Nebel:

I will be attending Kansas State University this fall and I am trying to bulk up on as much true economic theory before all the Keynesian blabber is shoved down my throat as I get my econ degree.

I was wondering in general what books would be best.

More specifically, though, as I was  reading Rothbard's Preface to Mises' "The Theory of Money and Credit," he talked about Mises applying Menger's and Bohm-Bawerk's micro theory to monetary theory. I mostly wanted to ask would you recommend that I read "Principles of Economics" and "Capital and Interest" before reading more Mises?

I am hoping that before I delve to far into Keynesianism and Socialism that I can read "The Theory of Money and Credit," "Socialism," and "The Failure of the New Economics."

I just got into Austrian economics about two months ago and started with The Theory of Money and Credit->Austrian theory of the trade cycle->Contra Keynes and Cambridge->Prices and Production, and just finished Capital and its Structure. Not going in chronological order really caused a lot of problems for me, since I was confusing Monetarist/Keynesian principles I learned in school with Austrian ones (like the demand for money for example, or the real rate of interest). I would definitely suggest that you Start with Bohm-Bawerk's Positive theory of capital, and familiarize yourself with Menger and utility theory. After Bohm-Bawek you should progress chronologically, as every Austrian builds upon the works of previous Austrians. I'm planning on re-reading everything I've read already.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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Rothbard's History of Economic Thought: An Austrian perspective. It is always good to know the history of the discipline you plan to enter. Also his History of Banking and Money. In fact why not just buy the Rothbardian library!?

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For an extensive reading list, topic by topic see Praxeology Reading List.

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Wanderer replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 9:18 PM

Dude, I'm at K-State, and I'm taking an econ course next semester!  Is it the intro class that you're taking?  We might be in the same class!

Periodically the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

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Ya. I'm taking the intro to Macro class. Its MWF at 8:30 with Dr. Keuster. Hope we are in the same class. And by the way, if you're interested, I'm trying to start a Young Americans for Liberty chapter there. E-mail me at jonny400@gmail.com if you're interested!

Thank you all for the suggestions. I'm planning on now trying to read more chronologically. Sounds like it will give me a better understanding of Austrian economics. I want to get through "The Failure of the New Economics" at least, though. It'll help me recognize all the Keynesian fallacies.

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Wanderer replied on Tue, Jul 21 2009 8:33 AM

I'm pretty sure I'm in an 8:30 class, but I can't remember the name of the professor.

I would TOTALLY join/help make a Young Americans for Liberty chapter there.

Periodically the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

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