Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And if you want more 

Several bloggers join me in recommending today's article from new Nobelist Edmund Phelps. Mises.org has a critical review of Phelps' contributions to understanding inflationary expectations. I would add a recommendation, particularly if you like the OpinionJournal editorial: See if you can find a copy of Political Economy: An Introductory Text (Norton, 1985). I was just finishing my PhD when this was published and lucked into a desk copy. (The book was intended to be a textbook, a function to which it was ill-suited.) I think I still have it at home; I read about 45 minutes of it each night, cover to cover, and gained as much from it as any book in the field, then or now. The book covers meta-economics in a sense -- it's about the choice of economic systems more than the functioning of the capitalist system. Phelps is not an unabashed supporter of the free market. Today's editorial is in that same vein. If you liked Virginia Postrel's The Future and its Enemies, you owe it to yourself to read both the editorial and the book.

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