Free Economics Textbooks

Rather than try to come up with something better, I’ll borrow this concise definition, “Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.” Economists evaluate business, finance, government, crime, educational systems, legal systems, politics, religion, social institutions and a variety of other factors in their attempt to explain how economies work and how economic agents interact.

There are plenty of folks who understand this stuff far better than I do. And, the good news is that a growing number of them are putting their thoughts down on paper and sharing their efforts with the rest of us through their free online economics textbooks.

I will continually be searching the web for econ texts for students studying this academic discipline and are looking for free resources to further their pursuits.

List of Free Economics Textbooks

An Introduction to Regional Economics

Written by: Edgar M. Hoover and Frank Giarratani

Edgar M. Hoover and Frank Giarratani originally wrote this economics textbook in 1971. The 1999 edition is free online for today’s students.

Art Cities, Cultural Districts and Museums

Written by: Luciana Lazzeretti (Professor of Economics and Management of firms at the University of Florence)

This cultural economics and managerial economics text was originated in the academic year 2000/2001 during a postgraduate course in Economics and the Management of Museum Assets. The book talks about the changing dynamic of transitioning from conservation and curation to more of a sustainable business model, what the authors call economic valorisation.

Capital as Power. A Study of Order and Creorder

Written by: Jonathon Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler

This non-traditional economics textbook takes a look at capital as power and explores some interesting concepts of how capital can truly reshape society.

Historical Economics: Art of Science?

Written by: Charles P. Kindleberger (MIT)

Historical economics is often skipped by universities in lieu of higher math courses. Kindleberger’s work shows how knowing that history might make students better economists.

Industrial Organization, a Contract Based approach

Written by: Nicolas Boccard (University of Girona)

This industrial organization textbook is being offered online for free by Nicolas Boccard, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Girona.

Introduction to Economic Analysis

Written by: R. Preston McAfee (Caltec)

Introduction to Economic Analysis textbook by R. Preston McAfee and Tracy Lewis. The text is aimed to be more like economists actually practicing economics rather than a traditional textbook.

Price Theory: An Intermediate Text

Written by: David Freeman (Santa Clara University School of Law)

Price Theory: An Intermediate Text could be an invaluable resource for students. Instead of just talking about economics, it actually teaches economics.

Principles of Macroeconomic Literacy

Written by: John Scott (North Georgia University)

A truly approachable free online macroeconomics textbook from North Georgia University Press. Plain language, easy to understand examples and a great introductory text for all students, not just biz majors.

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