Top 10 Economics Books

4 May, 2016 at 15:16 | Posted in Economics | 7 Comments


  • Karl Marx, Das Kapital (1867)
  • John Maynard Keynes, General Theory (1936)
  • Kenneth Arrow, Social Choice and Individual Values (1951)
  • John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)
  • Amartya Sen, Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970)
  • Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process (1971)
  • Michal Kalecki, Selected Essays on the Dynamics of the Capitalist Economy (1971)
  • Paul Davidson, Money and the Real World (1972)
  • Hyman Minsky, John Maynard Keynes (1975)
  • Tony Lawson, Economics and Reality (1997)


  1. My new book may not be on your top 10, or 20 for that matter but it is the most significant for understanding in numerical terms how our social system works as a whole. No other book has achieved that simple goal. David Chester “Consequential Macroeconomics–Rationalizing About How Our Social System Works”.

  2. I rather think ‘The Theory of the Leisure Class’ by Thorstein Veblen could fit in.

    • Veblen? Absolutely. I would also suggest his “Instinct of Workmanship and the state of the industrial arts.” It is useful to have a least ONE political economist who was technologically literate.

      Besides, it is damn hard to consider yourself a heterodox economist unless you are conversant in the writing of the guy who invented Institutional Analysis.

  3. I won’t comment on the ones I would put on the list 😉 But I would certainly have Sraffa’s Production of Commodities and Polanyi’s Great Transformation. My favorite post-Keynesian book would be Hicks’ The Crisis in Keynesian Economics (which might likely make the list too). It would be interesting to see your list of the books you think have been more influential rather than the ones which you prefer (which I assume is what the list reflects)

    • I mean wouldn’t

    • Sraffa, Polanyi and Hicks are all well worth reading, but to ME the books on the list have played a larger role in forming my views on economics and social sciences.
      Re Sraffa and the neo-Ricardian tradition I have always thought (being a ‘Kapitallogiker’ myself in the tradition of Rubin, Krahl, Schmidt, Schanz, et al in the 70s) that if you want to go down that more ‘philosophical’ value-tradition lane, why stop half-ways and not become a Marxian …

      • I do think of all Sraffians as Marxist indeed. Bortis refers to this tradition that rescues Marx and adds Keynes/Kalecki effective demand classical-Keynesian

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