Economic thought. Xenophon, Aristotle, Rome, St. The physiocrats. Adam Smith and the classical school. The Historical School.
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In fact, I will go on to say that it is one of the best books of economics that I have ever come across. Faustino Ballve, though an Austrian economist himself, doesnt limit himself to AE itself. The book traces the development of various schools of economics.
Ballves knowledge shines through the entire length of book. For example, he talks about how Aristotle had clearly differentiated between value in use and value in exchange of any commodity, a Essentials of Economics is a delightful read. For example, he talks about how Aristotle had clearly differentiated between value in use and value in exchange of any commodity, a distinction that is credited to Adam Smith twenty two centuries later.
Another illustration is his criticism of Communist Manifesto, authored by Marx and Engels in which they talk about an increasingly international economy with goods from far away lands finding place in ordinary households. This phenomena, Ballve correctly points out, was not as new as Engels and Marx would have us believe, as he proves by outlining evidences of international trade and trade routes since times immemorial.
The book is such a delightful read because of the way it is written. Each of these chapters builds on the previous ones, without confusing the reader by heaping in too many concepts at once. Each question and each topic is viewed through the lens of different schools of economics and what earlier economists have had to say about them.
The reader is therefore not left with an impression of having heard a tirade of AE in oblivion to all other theories, but a systematic appraisal of theories that are popular, their strengths and weaknesses, and what they may lead to if implemented. Overall, a simple, wonderful treatise though Ballve would himself not approve of his work being called a treatise because of the way other so called treatises in vogue approach economics.
Definitely a must-read.
Essentials Of Economics: A Brief Survey Of Principles And Policies
Divided into ten lessons on everything from The Market to What Economics is Not About, Essentials of Economics is the perfect primer on the Austrian school of pure economics. The Austrian school is built on the idea that economics should be a discipline distinct from history and statistics—focusing instead on the laws which govern human action and the inescapable consequences of that action. While unorthodox in the modern age, this approach to studying the world makes economics a discipline not just for the professional and the academic, but for every citizen to understand. While it is technically out-of-print, physical editions of this text are still being distributed by the Ludwig von Mises Institute , which also distributes this book in a proper ebook format. Below I have reconstructed a biography of the author as best I can from the prefatory material to this book, as well as from various sources I could conjure up from the depths of the web, both in English and Catalan.
What Is Economics About?