Learning Economics

As of 10-19-04, Learning Economics is available at the following online outlets:

"Arnold Kling brings an incisive economist's eyes to the current problems of the day, with a readable style and a substantive emphasis on the creative destruction of America's dynamic high-tech start-up world."
--Jeffrey Frankel, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"In the 20th Century, a couple of generations learned sensible economic policy from Henry Hazlitt's classic Economics in One Lesson.  In the 21st Century, we are fortunate to have Arnold Kling's astute and highly readable update, Learning Economics.
--Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason Magazine

"I have learned more from Arnold Kling than any other living writer I know. Kling’s great gift is not just in giving readers new things to think about – important facts, history, data, and ideas – but, more importantly, in teaching them how to think"
--Nick Schulz, editor TechCentralStation

"Learning Economics is the the perfect  source for learning  how economists think. Kling's  brilliance and wit shows how economics is 'the hopeful science'. He has  inherited Herb Stein's role as  the humane debunker of cant and sentimentality."
--Bernard Saffran, Department of Economics, Swarthmore College

To view a lecture based on Learning Economics, click here.


  1. Overall Introduction
  2. What's Different About Economics?
    1. Chapter Introduction
    2. Sweetwater vs. Saltwater
    3. The Omniscient Voyeur
    4. Can Money Buy Happiness?
    5. Type C and Type M Arguments
    6. There is No Labor Shortage
    7. Quack Economic Prescription (price controls)
    8. Economics vs. Populism
    9. Economic Attribution Errors
  3. Growth, Technological Progress, and Decentralized Innovation
    1. Chapter Introduction
    2. Growth Across Time
    3. Progress and Displacement
    4. Rationally Exuberant
    5. The Elastic Economy
    6. What Causes Prosperity?
    7. The Statism Trap
    8. Environmentalist Fallacies
    9. Nonlinear Thinking
    10. Hayek, Stiglitz, and Michael Powell
  4. Moore's Law, Progress, and Displacement
    1. Chapter Introduction
    2. Listen to the Technology
    3. News of My Death
    4. Packet Express and Thingies
    5. The Wireless Last Mile
    6. Asymptotically Free Goods
    7. The Trackable Society
    8. A Metaphor's Metaphors
    9. The Club vs. the Silo
    10. Equilibrium in the Market for Rock'n'Roll
    11. Moore vs. Plato
  5. Free Trade
    1. Chapter Introduction
    2. Roll Over, Ricardo
    3. Don't Smoot the Weasels
    4. Please Outsource to My Daughter
    5. Manufacturing a Crisis
    6. The Language Barrier
    7. Oil Econ 101
    8. The Balance of Saving
  6. Macroeconomics and Bubbles
    1. Chapter Introduction
    2. Arithmetic in a Bubble
    3. Briefing the President
    4. Some Keynes for President Bush
    5. Labor Force Capacity Utilization
    6. The President's Macroeconomic Report Card
    7. The Great Displacement
    8. Can Greenspan Steer?
    9. Whose Supply Side Are You On?
    10. Would Keynes Change His Mind?
    11. What's Your Margin of Safety?
    12. Bubbleheads
  7. Social Security, Health Care, and Education
    1. Chapter Introduction
    2. Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism
    3. A Social Security Policy Primer
    4. America is Mentally Ill
    5. Health Insurance Do-Nots
    6. Phase Out Medicare
    7. The Great Race
    8. The World's Nicest Holding Pen
    9. Efficiency, Entrepreneurship, and Education
    10. Equity, Entrepreneurship, and Education
    11. Mandatory Libertarianism
    12. Failing the Test
    13. The High-Cost Producer
  8. A Final Note