Best Economics Books of All Time

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Economics Books

Amongst the core subjects in Commerce stream, Economics is simply the study of the allocation of resources to tackle scarcity as well as facilitating their optimum utilisation. It is also imperatively the study of choices whether in personal life or in businesses and economic markets for profit maximisation. As a vast discipline encompassing a host of sub-fields and concepts, there are an array of Economics books curated by top Economists and Theorists in this field and aim to explore its core as well as lesser-known concepts and ideas! Are you looking for some interesting reads to expand your knowledge in economics? This blog enlists some of the insightful and must-read Economics books you must explore to accentuate your understanding of this amazing field of study!

List of top 50 Economic Books

  1. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money 
  2. Capital by Karl Marx
  3. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
  4. Globalization and Its Discontents
  5. The Theory of the Leisure Class
  6. The Affluent Society
  7.  Individualism and Economic Order
  8. Development as Freedom
  9. John Maynard Keynes
  10. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism
  11.  Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxes
  12.  Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises
  13. Economic Philosophy
  14. Economics by Paul Krugman; Robin Wells
  15. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
  16. Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  17.  Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala
  18.  Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments
  19. The Economic Emergence of Women
  20. Ecological Economics
  21. Governing the Commons
  22. Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea
  23. The Cultural Contradictions Of Capitalism
  24.  Accumulation and Power: Economic History of the United States
  25. The Last Phase in Transformation
  26. The Global Minotaur
  27. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
  28. Late Capitalism
  29. China’s Development: Capitalism and Empire
  30. States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s
  31.  Super Imperialism
  32.  The Rise and Decline of Nations
  33. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
  34. The Case for a Job Guarantee
  35. A History of Economic Thought
  36. Social Limits to Growth
  37. Mobile Capital and Latin American Development
  38.  Prosperity without Growth
  39. An Economic History of the USSR
  40. The Predator State
  41. Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India
  42. Value in Ethics and Economics
  43. Monopoly Capital
  44.  Lessons from the Great Depression
  45. How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor
  46. The Economics of Climate Change
  47. Varieties of Capitalism
  48. Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It?
  49. The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development
  50. Stone Age Economics

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

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Source: Amazon

One of the fundamental works in classical economics, The Wealth of Nations by Scottish economist Adam Smith describes the many factors that contribute to the accumulated wealth and financial prosperity of developed nations. It is one of the best Economics books for those interested in studying developmental economics and how this discipline effectively studies an economy in a holistic manner. Written with a view of criticizing mercantilism, this book covers some broad topics such as free markets, productivity and divisions of labour.

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Individualism and Economic Order by Friedrich Hayek

Individualism and Economic Order - Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

This wonderful book on economics contains a collection of critical essays on Economical discourse which were originally published during the 1930s and 1940s. The essays shed light on the problems faced by developing and former socialist countries. Amongst the top-recommended Economics Books, Individuals and Economic Order by Friedrick Hayek looks at the issue of free markets as against socialist planned economies through different perspectives.

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Capital by Karl Marx

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Source: Amazon

One of the best Economics books written by the renowned Economist and Sociologist Karl Marx, he discusses capitalism and its relations to labour. Bringing an interdisciplinary connection between social science as well as economics, Marx highlights the salient features of the capitalist system, how it operates and the potential tendency it has towards self-destruction. Capital deals with production, exploitation, surplus-value, distribution of wealth, class relationships etc. were one of the most cited books in relevant disciplines before the 1950s.

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Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen

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Source: Amazon

Published in 1999, this is one of the must-read economics books by the Nobel prize-winning Indian economist Amartya Sen. His basic argument in Development as Freedom is that development is intricately linked with freedom, with special emphasis on political freedom, economic freedom and freedom of opportunity.

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The Last Phase in Transformation by Michal Kalecki

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Source: Amazon

A collection of six essays by Michal Kalecki, this text is one of the insightful economics books dating back to 1935 and 1967 when it was originally drafted. Dealing with political economy, the Last Phase of Transformation is a must-read if you are interested in exploring social relations, such as group or class conflicts, as an economic factor.

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Manias Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by Charles P. Kindleberger

Source: Amazon

One of the classic economics books, Charles Kindleberger has provided an account of the causes behind financial explosions at different points in time in this text. Manias, Panics and Crashes covers topics relating to speculations, crises and lending while focussing on financial crashes in different parts of the world. It is one of the famous economics books on the global economy and financial crashes and is best for those inclined towards studying the causes and effects of the economic recession and depression throughout varied periods of time.

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The Economic Emergence of Women by Barbara Bergmann

Source: Goodreads

This is one of the must-read economics books based on feminist theory as it centres around feminist economics and the role played by women in different economic developments throughout history. As the world has been largely dominated by the patriarchal system, the author has kept the ongoing movement of equality between the two sexes as the main theme of the book. The other issues covered in the Economic Emergence of Women include discrimination, women labour, marriage etc.

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The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations:  Soll, Jacob: 9780465031528: Amazon.com: Books
Courtesy: Amazon.com

Jacob Soll, a historian and MacArthur Genius Grant winner, examines the history of contemporary global economics beginning with the beginnings of accountancy during the Medici rule in his sprawling book The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations. Throughout The Reckoning, Soll guides the reader through well-known historical events, enlightening them on the bookkeeping machinations and deft accounting behind events such as the Italian Renaissance, the French Revolution, and the 2008 recession, earning it a spot on our list of the best economics books of all time.

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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: Adam Smith,  Edwin Cannan, George J Stigler: 9780226763743: Amazon.com: Books
Courtesy: Amazon

For good reason, Adam Smith’s 1776 classic is still widely read today. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is not only one of the most read economics books but also the most direct way to understanding the early theories linked to the basic mechanics of economics. The editor’s comment provided in one version of this important work explains why so many economists, businesspeople, and historians continue to endorse it. “The learner should not forget that there is frequently more to be learned from the method of addressing a topic of a great writer than from the simple acquisition of the more accurate outcome owing to the critical labours of a series of brains of ordinary capacity,” editor J.S. Nicholson stated.

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Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

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Courtesy: Amazon.in

Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Ola Rosling set out to create Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think with a specific goal in mind. The trio (a doctor, a software designer, and a statistician) intended to eliminate ignorance about the status of the world, which they discovered was prevalent in every class, nation, and culture they investigated. Regardless of where their subjects lived or how much education they had, the majority of those polled felt the globe was in a worse state than it is, according to almost every possible statistic. Factfulness became a New York Times Best Seller and one of the best economics books ever written, in part because of the incredible social and economic information it contains, but it’s also valuable because of the insight it provides into why people are so pessimistic about the world, why it’s so difficult to change people’s minds with data, and what we can all do about it.

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Best on Free Market Economic Theory: Wealth, Poverty and Politics

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Thomas Sowell, a well-known economist, and syndicated columnist has written more than 30 economics books on famous issues and topics public policy, history, class, culture, education, and race. Sowell, a University of Chicago professor with a PhD, is widely regarded as one of the most important American economists of the twenty-first century. Sowell communicates the nuts and bolts of free-market economic theory in Wealth, Poverty, and Politics against the backdrop of contemporary discussions on income disparity and public policy, which he contends often underplays the generation of wealth as a determinant. Sowell demonstrates to the readers, using historical events and observable social trends as examples, how various variables have impacted the economic trajectories of countries and individuals throughout history, and how they will continue to do so.

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Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher

Source: Goodreads

One of the most influential books in the realm of economics, Small is Beautiful is divided into four main parts, namely the modern world, resources, the third world and organisation and ownership, dealing with different but interrelated topics. The author brilliantly discusses the dehumanisation of labour as the underlying effect of the general functioning of modern profit-oriented organisations.

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Governing the Commons by Elinor Ostrom

Source: Amazon

This book deals with the economics of commons i.e. public property or resources that are shared among many people. Consisting of four chapters, this is one of the popular Economics books for those wanting to study the nature of a common resource, its examination, evolution, development of self-organisation, self-governance, as well as change.

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Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Source: Amazon

This award-winning book on Economics is a wonderful take on approaches to global poverty and its solutions by the Nobel prize-winning pair Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Poor Economics is based on their study spanning across global boundaries, observing the thought processes and decision-making factors of the poverty-stricken.

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Top Economics Books for UPSC

Want to score good marks in Economics in upcoming competitive exams like the UPSC? Have a look at some of these popular and top-selling economics books mentioned below:

  1. Indian Economy for Civil Services, Universities, and Other Examinations by Ramesh Singh
  2. The Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma
  3. Quick Indian Economy for Competitive Exams by Disha Experts 
  4. Indian Economy- Principles, POlicies, and Progress by Pearson 
  5. 700+ MCQs with Explanatory Notes For Economy by Disha Experts 
  6. Ancient and Medieval India by Poonam Dalal Dahiya
  7. History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra 
  8. India’s Ancient Past by RS Sharma 

Best Economics Books for Students 

Are you planning to pursue higher studies in Business or Economics? Or do you suspect you could be interested but don’t know much about it? We have compiled a reading list for you. We have compiled a selection of some of the greatest economics books from the vast literature on business and economics topics.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  2. Sam Walton: Made in America – Sam Walton
  3. Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
  4. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
  5. Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built – Richard S. Tedlow
  6. Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  7. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy – Karl Marx
  8. Manias, Panics, and Crashes – Charles Kindleberger
  9. North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
  10. The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith

Thus, we hope that now you have a complete list of Economics books that can help you understand the multifarious nature of this discipline. Aspiring to study a degree in Economics? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to help you find the right course and university which can equip you with the best knowledge, skills and exposure to build a successful career in this field! Sign up for a free career counselling session today!

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