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What Makes The World Go Round? Find Out With The Best Books on Economics

Ever wanted to understand the art of economics? Here are some of the best economics books to get you started.
by Ronan Breathnach | Jul 22 2017

What makes the world go around? Physicists say inertia but economists say money. So what exactly is the science behind money and markets? How are they shaped and what impact do they have on the world around us?

Learn all about money with the best economics books

We here at Blinkist can’t give you all the answers, that would be no fun at all, but we can point you in the direction of people who can. Better yet, we have picked out ten of the best and most easily understood books on economics. These aren’t long theses filled with footnotes and dense formulas either but offer an entertaining insight into how economics is shaping the world around you.

Looking for the best economics books? Here’s a list for you

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

How do you get people to behave the way you want? Surely rewards make people work harder and punishments discourage bad behavior. Well, it’s not always that simple, as Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner discovered in this incredible study on the economics of human interactions. Eschewing the more traditional fields of study, this book took a look at the economics of cheating, drug dealing, abortions, and a string of other provocative fields. If you’ve ever thought that economics is a boring subject then Freakonomics is the book to teach you otherwise.

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Regarded as the father of modern economics, Adam Smith revealed many of the accepted truths about how markets would work in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. The Wealth of Nations is his magnum opus and a foundational text for modern economic theory. If you ever wanted to crack the spine of a serious economics book then this is the title for you.

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Humans look for patterns in everything, from clouds in the sky to the roll of a dice. But what happens when you insist on finding causal links in a fundamentally chaotic world? Fooled By Randomness shows how dangerous it can be to look for patterns where there are none. It also explores how economists can account for chance, whether it’s an unforeseen economic downturn or a lucky trader whose fortune is about to come to a screeching halt.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The culmination of Daniel Kahneman’s life work, this book explores some of the key ideas that earned him the Nobel Prize. Emphasizing the difference between reflexive and more measured thought, this book shows how our fast-paced world and reliance on instinct can be damaging. One of the best new books on economics, Thinking offers a strong argument for taking it slow every now and then.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

Humans are not rational animals. Despite all of our scientific, technological, and philosophical advances, we still rely primarily on emotional and ‘gut’ responses. Yet most of us think that we, and those around us, think all of our actions through. Probably Dan Ariely’s best book on economics, Predictably Irrational uncovers just how wrong this assumption of rationality is and how to factor for the irrational.

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows

Though many of these top economics books have explored randomness and the irrational, economics itself loves systems and well-established relationships. By understanding how one thing affects another, you can better predict the final outcome. Donella Meadows’ book identifies systems and teaches you how they work and how you can use them to better your everyday life.

Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love by Marina Adshade

Despite what the songs say, money most certainly can buy you love, or it can at least help an awful lot. Taking an incredibly unromantic approach to the topic of love and sex, Marina Adshade uncovers the hidden economic forces that drive people’s libido. So how can your income affect your sex appeal? And what role does the economy play in your bedroom antics? This is another great book for those wondering how economics can affect their own life.

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nicholas Nassim Taleb

Most things in the world thrive on predictability and loathe the unforeseen. There are a few though that crave chaos and prosper in conflict. This concept of antifragility is at the center of another of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s great books on economics. So what exactly makes something antifragile? And how can this trait help you understand and navigate the world?

Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money by Daniel Lapin

What can Judaism teach you about good business acumen? According to Rabbi Daniel Lapin, quite a lot. Tackling the negative stereotype of Jews as greedy or dishonest people head on, this book explores how an emphasis on education and community helps to build a healthy economy and sound businessmen. Drawing on lessons from the Torah, Thou Shall Prosper imparts sound business advice for people from all walks of life.

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha Joon-Chang

In the wake of the 2008 financial crash, many sacred economic cows came under harsh scrutiny. Neo-liberal capitalism and its insistence on leaving free trade unfettered had been found wanting and the critics descended. One of the most reasoned responses came in the shape of Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things. Devoid of political bias, this book raised 23 strong points of criticism against globalization and became an instant modern classic.

These are just a few of the best books on economics in the ever-expanding Blinkist library. It’s enough to get you started though, and don’t worry, there’s many many more waiting with new books-in-blinks being constantly added to help you stay on top of it all. Happy reading!

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