Top 20+ Best Books On Economics on Amazon

Of all the social sciences, economics is often the one that hits closest to home and seems to affect us most directly, yet it can also be the most confusing subject to the average person. If you have ever felt you’d like to become more economically literate but feel overwhelmed and confused by the amount of information available, we’re here to help with our list of Top 20 Best Books on Economics. Each book selected provides trustworthy information in easy to understand language.

1. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics – by Henry Hazlitt

Although this book was last updated in 1978, it still is a fantastic resource to help you learn the basics of economic theory. Many of the economic arguments he presents in his book are still relevant today. Hazlitt teaches economic concepts through examples of common societal issues. He also breaks down economics in a series of cause and effect relationships that are easy to follow.

This book will be a perfect choice if you are looking for a solid foundation to build up your understanding of economics. Find it on Amazon.

2. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) -by Benjamin Graham

The Intelligent Investor

Benjamin Graham’s book is highly respected, as is Graham’s reputation as an investment adviser. It was originally published in 1949 and revised in 2006. Graham offers helpful rules of thumb for investing. Graham provides excellent advice to those interested in the world of investing, whether they are only starting to get into investing or improve already established investing skills.

The only problem is Graham sometimes uses economist jargon, so you might have to look the terms up as you read since Graham assumes you have some background and doesn’t explain all of the terms used. Find it on Amazon.

3. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty – by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Why Nations Fail

Acemoglu’s and Robinson’s book is a great book to add to your library if you have ever wondered about how politics and economics are related. The authors base their arguments on both economic and political institutions that are in place around the world. They also trace economic and political issues back through history to explain how we got to the places nations are now all in simple, concise language. Find it on Amazon.

4. Economics 101: From Consumer Behavior to Competitive Markets–Everything You Need to Know About Economics by Alfred Mill

Economics 101: From Consumer Behavior to Competitive Markets

This book covers the essential aspects of economics in a way that is easy to understand and engaging. Mill defines important terms and explains critical economic concepts in a way that is easy to follow.

Even if you don’t have any background in economics whatsoever, Mill’s book is well-organized, and he explains the information like a teacher rather than an economist without having to pay for a course. Find it on Amazon.

5. Basic Economics 5th Edition – by Thomas Sowell

Basic Economics

This book is a layman’s guide to economic principles. Sowell explains how the economy works in simple, jargon-free terms. He offers explanations for everything from the control of rent prices to how businesses grow and what makes them fail. Sowell will get you thinking like an economist without overwhelming and confusing you with information overkill.

This book is a great book to add to your collection because it helps you understand the role economics play in society and politics throughout the world. Find it on Amazon.

6. Capitalism in America: An Economic History of the United States– by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge

Capitalism in America: An Economic History of the United States

This book explains America’s economic history and delves into the ongoing economic debates that this country is engaged in if you are specifically interested in American economics. The authors discuss the history of Capitalism in this country and how it continues to shape US economics. Although the book covers a lot of information, it is surprisingly easy to read and digest. Find it on Amazon.

7. The Economics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained – by DK

The Economics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

You probably know DK from science and social studies books you read as a kid, but this book is perfect for the adult novice trying to get down the basics of economics before delving deeper into the subject. This book gives you a firm grasp of economic concepts by explaining what they are and where the thoughts came from. Like with all DK books, they provide you with visuals to help break down complicated ideas. Find it on Amazon.

8. Economics For Dummies, 3rd Edition– by Sean Masaki Flynn

Economics For Dummies

Economics for Dummies explains everything readers need to know about how economics have evolved and continues to grow. It also gives you a firm understanding of economic fundamentals that never change. It’s written in easy to understand language that is readily accessible to anyone interested in economics. Find it on Amazon.

9. 50 Economics Classics -by Tom Butler-Bowdon

50 Economics Classics

This book summarizes some of the most influential works of economic literature in short pieces so you can grasp important concepts without reading the entire works. Each summary is roughly six pages long, so they are quick reads that are easy to digest. Find it on Amazon.

10. The Economics Book: From Xenophon to Cryptocurrency, 250 Milestones in the History of Economics – Steven G. Medema

The Economics Book

The discussions in this book run the gamut from Ancient Greek Philosophy to cryptocurrency and how these things play out in modern economics. Yet, the essays he presents are accessible to the general population. With Medema’s guidance, readers can learn basic economic concepts and see the relationships between ideas about the global economy and the history that shaped those ideas. Find it on Amazon.

11. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

When it comes to learning about economics, Freakonomics is a great place to start. It is a top-rated economic book, because it’s not just dry information, but told in a deliberately entertaining way. It discusses such things as how cheating works in different businesses, from selling bagels to sumo wrestling. 

It also answers many absurd questions, including what the KKK and real estate agents have in common and why drug dealers often live with their mothers. It’s a great way to start looking at the world from an economic perspective.  Find it on Amazon.

12. Post-Capitalist Society by Peter F. Drucker

Post-Capitalist Society

Peter F. Drucker is known for predicting future economic events, including the emergence of an information society. In the Post-Capitalist Society, he argues that the United States and many other First World countries have already moved away from true capitalism. In his view, citizens have become the owners of enterprises rather than the owners of capital. Drucker believes that organizations will continue to grow more specialized and that outsourcing is the way of the future. Find it on Amazon.

13. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel came out in 1997 and sparked a lot of controversies. Jared Diamond argues that European and Asian societies have been more prosperous throughout history not because of intellect or genetic superiority, but because of environmental differences in where these societies are located. 

This award-winning book has been praised for how it brings environmental factors into economics, and it became a documentary produced by the National Geographic Society. On the other hand, it has been criticized as simplistic and deterministic. Either way, it’s a must-read for economists and students alike.  Find it on Amazon.

14. Thinking Fast and Slow by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow

This book delves into behavioral economics, challenging the classic convention that people make rational decisions. Instead, it argues that certain elements effortlessly sway people without consciously understanding why. 

For instance, Thinking Fast and Slow explains why we often believe in the competency of attractive people, and the tendencies we have to think bolded text is more truthful than regular text. 

Written by a Nobel Prize winner and a mathematical psychologist, Thinking Fast and Slow provides a lot of insight into how you make decisions and how you respond emotionally to various situations. Anyone looking to understand better behavioral economics should check out this book. Find it on Amazon.

15. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

In this book, Matt Ridley argues that beneficial trade is a natural tendency of humans and the one that has driven our society to prosper. It is at the core of why civilization exists. The Rational Optimist covers both psychological tendencies and economics, arguing that mutual trade between specialized societies is how the global economy will prosper. 

In many ways, Ridley’s book makes an argument for globalization and free trade. However, it fails to cover some legitimate concerns of globalization, such as the wealth inequality that arises from a global economy controlled by big businesses and governments. Find it on Amazon.

16. The Armchair Economist by Steven E. Landsburg

The Armchair Economist explains everyday economics. Much like Freakonomics, it’s told in an amusing and relatable way but strives to provide information to questions that are useful to all of us. 

This book takes a logical look at various situations and why certain things tend to happen, including how much the average person would risk their life for a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks, and why drivers of safer cars get in more accidents. It’s an excellent read, both for newbies and seasoned economists.  Find it on Amazon.

17. 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism will have you questioning everything you know about economics and capitalism. It goes into such things as why the Starbucks in the London Train station charges so much for a cup of coffee and explains how the internet compares to the evolution of the washing machine. 

It takes the biggest myths that most people believe about economics in our society and flips them on their head. However, Chang is careful not to mention that he is not anti-capitalist, but merely dispelling specific facts about capitalism to give people a better understanding of how it works. He states that no matter its problems, capitalism remains the better economic system invented so far. Find it on Amazon.

18. The Big Short by Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big Short was made into an award-winning movie in 2015, starring Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Christian Bale. 

It tells the story of the events leading up to the economic crash of 2007-2008. Although this is non-fiction, it’s a compelling look at how the housing bubble burst and its consequences. It follows most of the people who saw the crash coming and believed the housing bubble was about to burst.

Most of them bet against the collateralized debt obligation bubble and profited immensely when the collapse took place. It also is about some of those who lost money, including Howie Hubler, who has the second-biggest loss on a single trade in history at nine billion dollars. Find it on Amazon.

19. Lean In: Woman, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg wrote this book dealing with women in the workplace. Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and the former VP of Global Online Sales at Google. She shares many personal encounters in this book she has had in the workplace, as well as various anecdotes to highlight the politics of gender in the workplace. 

The big takeaway is that despite the progress made, women still find less success than men when it comes to working. She encourages all women to aggressively promote themselves to build better careers.  Find it on Amazon.

20. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nissim Nocholas Taleb

The Black Swan

The Black Swan is often seen as necessary reading for economics courses and is frequently referenced. The book explains how improbable things still happen, and that they can have a massive economic impact. The central idea is very interesting and food for thought.

The discussions in this book run the gamut from Ancient Greek Philosophy to cryptocurrency and how these things play out in modern economics. Yet, the essays he presents are accessible to the general population. With Medema’s guidance, readers can learn basic economic concepts and see the relationships between ideas about the global economy and the history that shaped those ideas. Find it on Amazon.


All the books on this list will help you build a solid foundation of economic principles. We’re positive you will find a book on this list to suit your needs. However, if we were to suggest one, start with Economics For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Sean Masaki Flynn, it is accessible and engaging to read and will give you the necessary fundamentals. It also provides online quizzes that you can take to test your knowledge and see if you’ve understood what you’ve read.

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