5 votes

Need help understanding Austrian Economics

Hello to all my fellow DP'ers - no not my double penetration buddies - I wish to learn more on the basic fundamentals on austrian economics since I am not enrolled in any classes atm I think the best way for me to learn would be by reading. Could anyone please enlighten me on books for austrain economics both at begging and intermediate levels. I guess something like "Austrain economics for dummy's" for example, come to think of it I bet there is already a book called that. Anyways all the information would be kindly apreachiated

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Henry Hazlitt's Economics in

Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson is the closest thing to an "Austrian Economics for Dummies" that you'll find.

You Are Already An Expert

Seriously, you already know all about it. All the books being recommended will simply help you realize how brilliant you already are on the subject.

At its most basic, economics is controlled by human nature, and human nature is something infants study from birth, and beyond.

I had two textbooks in my Econ class in college, and there was no question that the "wishful thinking" school (the one where you "manage" the economy) hadn't a clue. The other text was written by Milton Friedman, and I remember it, today, 40 years later, because it just made sense.

Yes, you can get into math and statistics, and into distortions caused by government, and learn lots of specialized vocabulary, but really, all it takes is a little reasoning to reach the same conclusions they teach.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Milton Freidman doesn't

Milton Freidman doesn't understand Austrain Economics. If he did, he'd agree with it.

Bob Murphy explains the difference here: http://mises.org/daily/5390/The-Chicago-School-versus-the-Au...

"Although it's true that Austrians agree with Chicago economists on many policy issues, nevertheless their approach to economic science can be quite different."


Lots and lots of articles on everything to get started.

Try this

This isn't even remotly

This isn't even remotly Austrian.

The only thing that Peter Joseph, Bill Still and their ilk have in common with the Austrain School is that (1) They don't like the current monetary system.

They vastly disagree on (2) Why they don't like it and (3) How to fix it.

old school

First let me say welcome home. You are a patriot just for wanting to learn this. If someone asked me what the one thing they should know about the journey you are about to go on, first and foremost I would say “Sound Money” Without an understanding of sound money you will be chasing down many rabbit trails and eventually you will stumble on “Sound Money”. With that being said I always recommend Murray Rothbard’s “History of Money and Banking”. I always recommend this book before anything else……it will put money and banking in the proper context.
Just for fun check out this video…….even if you don’t like the presentation….. dissect the lyrics…..because they hit a lot of what you are looking for……..but read the book……..start with a solid foundation and it will get you down the path quicker…….when I started all I had were books……..lots and lots of books, no internet. But I can say that I learned the philosophy from the same people that taught Dr. Paul. I am old school….very old school.


"Before we can ever ask how things might go wrong; we must first explain how they could ever go right"


Thanks for the kind words

Ill definetly put this one on my list I've already ordered Shiffs book and am reviewing a few more.

Cyril's picture

Laissez Faire Economics in an educated cartoon

The second "laissez-faire.me" link in my signature has a nice, pleasant to watch, introduction to it - very relevant from a monetary/banking standpoint.

Enjoy. ;)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Ron Paul's Reading list on Amazon

is full of great books about economics, liberty and other important topics

But I like Hazlet's "Economics in One Lesson" as a great starter book

I suggest to

go easy on books, start with DVDs
1. ATM #3, #6
3. DP in Prague.
2. Austrian DP.

I have not read Schiff's "How

I have not read Schiff's "How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes" but my brother has, and he says it is an excellent book for beginners. Although I love Peter Schiff and Tom Woods as modern Austrians, I think there is value in reading some Mises early on in your studies.

An easy book to read (under 100 pages) is Mises' "Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow." It's spanish title translates to "six lessons" and is a much more proper title for the book. It was a series of six lectures Mises delivered in Buenos Aires to Argentine students (who suffered through hyper-inflation). The lectures were delivered to an uninformed group when it came to economic theory, and gives six valuable lessons from the master himself. http://mises.org/etexts/ecopol.pdf

Bastiat's "The Law" is a great essay to read, but it deals more with political philosophy than economic theory. It is still a must-read essay for any Liberty Lover.

Besides Mises "Economic Policy" I recommend Murray Rothbard's "What Has Government Done to Our Money / The Case For a 100% Gold Dollar." Which I assume can be found online. It is a great book to read if one is looking to have a better understanding of the nature and virtues of sound money.

google it

come up with vids like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcfaUlHBQp4

I second Schiff's "How an

I second Schiff's "How an economy grows and why it crashes". It's kinda written as a fable/parable (think "animal farm"), but covers all the basics. A quick fun read that you could leave in your bathroom and read in a few sittings.

Another good 101 primer is Tom Woods' "Meltdown". While this is ostensibly a book about the recent crises from an austrian perspective, he does dedicate a few chapters in it to just covering the basics of the austrian theory in general.

And honestly, Human Action is very readable, just long. If you buy Murphy's study guide to help you along the way, you can make decent progress with it.

Lastly, depending on how philosophically minded you are, Hoppe's short "Economic Science and the Austrian Method" elaborats on the philosophical basis for praxeology (basically just elaborates on mises starting point, that it's impossible to deny that humans act).

Note: I downvoted the Hazlett and Hayek suggestion for two reasons:

1) Hazlett's "Economics in One Lesson", while a great read, isn't specific to the Austrian Theory. It could be equally applicable to any other free market school (eg: Chicago). It's a great read and basically just a rehash of Bastiat's 'seen and unseen', but not Austrian per se. (to put it another way, understanding Hazlet/Bastiat is necessary for understanding Praxeology, but not sufficient.

2) Hayek was trash; he was a state apologist at best. Contradicted himself frequently, non-praxological approach to the subject. Also a very boring writer.
Elaboration on why Mises > hayek, if you're interested: http://mises.org/daily/5747/


"Human Action" is a book all studious people should read at some point in their life. It is truly wonderful, and is not too difficult to comprehend -- having the internet (or Robert Murphey's guide) will help with some of the terminology. However, it is no place to point a beginner. Mises has plenty of smaller texts, essays, and speeches that are much more compatible with the typical attention-span those of us previously disposed to an overdose of petty pop-culture, sportscenter highlights, and fast-food possess.

The mind is a tool that gets sharper with use. After tackling some of Mises/Rothbard/Hazlitt/Schiff/Woods more modest texts, you will have an insatiable desire to set your mind to the grindstone and get lost (literally at times) as you begin to construct your understanding of economics and praxeology as you work through one of the larger treatise ("Human Action", "The Theory of Money and Credit", "Socialism", and "Theory and History" for Mises).

Quick Start (appetizer)

Bastiat's, 'The Law'

This should whet your intellectual appetite:


Understanding "Austrian" Economics

Thanks for all the info

Its much appreachiated

Henry Hazlitt's Economics In

Henry Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson is a really good starting point.

Then you could read The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek.

Any of Ludwig von Mises' writings are obligatory. Mises.org is a ridiculously helpful resource.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.


No easier place to start than Hazlitt's Economics in one Lesson

I second the above recommendation, here's a link to the PDF


Then there's Rothbard:

Man, Economy, and State

This is a great lecture on the "Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle" by Roger Garrison (video):


Ditto Hazlitt's - Economics in One Lesson for starting...

Although not strictly about economics, I would also recommend "The Law" by Bastiat.

If you want to go full on education mode (with a textbook), I would suggest "Man, Economy, & State" by Rothbard.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions.

Ready. Set. Go.

mises.org -> Search -> "Austrian Economics" -> [click]

Take your pick.

tasmlab's picture

Schiff's "How an economy grows and why it crashes"

Schiff's "How an economy grows and why it crashes" is superb, easy, illustrated, fun, perfect. Start there.

When you buy it, click through the Daily Paul to send Michael some $$

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football