12 Articles Every Aspiring Economist Should Read..

Steven Horwitz points to the 12 articles all wannabes must read. The list is for all those wanting to enrol into PhD in economics. I am pretty sure students of most econ places barely recommend reading all these pieces unless students discover them by themselves. The list has  Tullock, Hayek, Friedman, Coase and so on..

Nothing stirs up controversy in the digital age quite like a list. But lists, especially ones that provide an easily accessible way to learn essential information, have their purposes. Below, I offer 12 articles that I think every aspiring economist should read. Before we get to the list, let me say a few things about how I created it.

First, my imagined audience is an undergraduate who intends to enter a PhD program in economics, although the list could be interesting and useful for other people with other goals. Second, this list most certainly reflects my own interests and training. It is a list very much in what Peter Boettke would call the “mainline” of economic thinking, which sees markets as effective coordinating processes and is skeptical of what government can do to improve on them. Third, this list is most emphatically not “the” 12 articles people should read. I can think of another dozen important reads that I left off this list. So I am certainly not making a definitive statement of the 12 best, or only, articles one should read. These are simply 12 that I think are important to read to understand sound economics, ideally before one heads off to grad school in economics.

With that said, here’s my list, organized by subtopic and then chronologically. I’ve linked to online versions where I could find them.

There should have been some pieces on history of economic thought like those by Mark Blaug and so on. But then as the author himself says this is hardly an exhaustive list..


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