January 16, 2018

What Books did the Hayek Program Scholars Read in 2017?

We are halfway through January and the new year is officially in full swing. If you or the political economist in your life are looking for some new and interesting books to add to your 2018 reading lists, then look no further! Below you will find the books read and recommended by our Hayek Program faculty.


Research Handbook on Austrian Law and Economics
Edited by Todd Zywicki and Peter Boettke

The original contributions to the Research Handbook provide an introduction to the application of Austrian economics to law.

WTF?! An Economic Tour of the Weird
By Peter Leeson

Step right up! Get your tickets for WTF?! An Economic Tour of the Weird! This rollicking tour through a museum of the world's weirdest practices is guaranteed to make you say, "WTF?!" Leeson shows that far from "irrational" or "accidents of history," humanity's most outlandish rituals are ingenious solutions to pressing problems--developed by clever people, driven by incentives, and tailor-made for their time and place. 

Public Debt: An Illusion of Democratic Political Economy
By Giuseppe Eusepi and Richard Wagner

Over the past decades, economists have witnessed with growing uneasiness their failure to explain the ballooning of public debt in most countries. Using methodological individualism and microeconomics, this book overcomes flaws inherent in the standard macro approach, according to which governments manipulate public debt to promote systemic stability.

James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: A Rational Reconstruction
By Richard Wagner

James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: A Rational Reconstruction examines the contemporary meaning and significance of James M. Buchanan’s body of work. The book uses Buchanan’s past contributions to explore the present and future relevance of his scholarly contributions and insights.

Interdisciplinary Studies of the Market Order: New Applications of Market Process Theory
Edited by Peter Boettke, Christopher Coyne, and Virgil Storr

This volume brings together original research from the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy to analyse central elements of market process and market order. 

Applied Mainline Economics: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Public Policy
By Matthew Mitchell and Peter Boettke

How do human societies work, and how can we make them work better? What methods, ideas, and strategies should we use to help us answer these questions? Economists have more empirical tools—more data and more sophisticated ways of testing those data—than ever before. But unless those who employ these techniques also practice what the authors call “mainline” economic thinking, these new empirical methods are liable to generate more heat than light.

Humane Economics
Edited by Jack High, Foreword by Solomon Stein and Stefanie Haeffele

This book explores three themes that run throughout Don Lavoie's work: (1) the importance of social intelligence to economics, (2) recognition that certain institutions or practices are better at creating social intelligence than others, and (3) that economics shares more in common with the humane disciplines than with the physical sciences. As these essays make clear, Don Lavoie's work sets the state for a whole new generation of economists to align their work more closely with the humanities.

Expert Failure
By Roger Koppl

All too often, experts have monopoly power because of licensing restrictions or because they are government bureaucrats protected from both competition and the consequences of their decisions. This book argues that, in the market for expert opinion, we need real competition in which rival experts may have different opinions and new experts are free to enter.

Politics as a Peculiar Business: Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy
By Richard Wagner

Economists typically treat government as something outside the business realm, a sort of “Lord of the Manor”. Richard Wagner argues that this is the wrong approach and can ultimately be destructive to capitalism and to society.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
By Jonathan Haidt

As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum.

Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order
By F. A. Hayek

This volume represents the first section of F. A. Hayek's comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. Rules and Order constructs the framework necessary for a critical analysis of prevailing theories of justice and of the conditions which a constitution securing personal liberty would have to satisfy.

The Ultimate Resource II
By Julian Simon

Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon led a vigorous challenge to conventional beliefs about scarcity of energy and natural resources, pollution of the environment, the effects of immigration, and the "perils of overpopulation."

Freedom and the Law
By Bruno Leoni

The greatest obstacle to rule of law in our time, contends the author of this thought-provoking work, is the problem of overlegislation. In modern democratic societies, legislative bodies are increasingly usurping functions that were and should be exercised by individuals or groups rather than government. The result is an unwieldy surfeit of laws and regulations that by their sheer volume stifle individual freedom.

The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire
By Stephen Kinzer

How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat―until the cycle begins again. Revealing a piece of forgotten history, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation.

In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power
By Alfred McCoy

In a completely original analysis, prize-winning historian Alfred W. McCoy explores America’s rise as a world power—from the 1890s through the Cold War—and its bid to extend its hegemony deep into the twenty-first century through a fusion of cyberwar, space warfare, trade pacts, and military alliances. 

Clashing Over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy
By Douglas Irwin

Should the United States be open to commerce with other countries, or should it protect domestic industries from foreign competition? Douglas Irwin’s Clashing over Commerce is the most authoritative and comprehensive history of US trade policy to date, offering a clear picture of the various economic and political forces that have shaped it.