12/03/2019

Five Books to Supplement Teaching Undergraduate Economics

"The particular scholar will recall Richard Whately for having coined the term “catallactics” to describe the study of exchanges. Economists such as Francis Edgeworth, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and James Buchanan have claimed “catallactics” as a proper constraint on the field of study for the political economist. In Easy Lessons Whately popularizes the fundamental principles of economics for children in grade school. Though written almost 200 years ago the lessons on money, exchange, commerce, coin, value, wages, rich and poor (income distribution), capital, taxes, letting and hiring (factors of production), and interference with men’s dealings with one another (constitutions and regulations) demonstrate Whately’s proto-marginalist mastery of the economic perspective. I first assigned this to students in my History of Economic Thought course who then heartily recommended it for Principles of Microeconomics classes."