Basic Economics

Front Cover
Basic Books, Dec 2, 2014 - Business & Economics - 704 pages
3 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
The bestselling citizen's guide to economics

Basic Economics is a citizen's guide to economics, written for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations. Bestselling economist Thomas Sowell explains the general principles underlying different economic systems: capitalist, socialist, feudal, and so on. In readable language, he shows how to critique economic policies in terms of the incentives they create, rather than the goals they proclaim. With clear explanations of the entire field, from rent control and the rise and fall of businesses to the international balance of payments, this is the first book for anyone who wishes to understand how the economy functions.

This fifth edition includes a new chapter explaining the reasons for large differences of wealth and income between nations.

Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English.


What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Basic Economics is one of the best books on the subject. Sowell explains how markets, prices, supply-and-demand work in simple terms to create prosperity or crisis. His book contrasts free market economies with centrally planned economies and explains why the first succeed in creating wealth and general prosperity while the second wastes and stagnates eventually. While in centrally planned economies bureaucrats decide prices and amounts of goods needed from above (an overwhelming task if one takes into account the complexity of markets, the number of products, and the material needed for their production), while in free markets, prices and production occur organically in response to people's demand.  


The Role of Prices
Price Controls
An Overview of Prices
The Rise and Fall of Businesses
The Role of Profitsand Losses
The Economics of Big Business
Regulation and AntiTrust Laws
Money and the Banking System
Government Functions
Government Finance
Special Problems in the National Economy
International Trade
International Transfers of Wealth
International Disparities in Wealth
Myths About Markets

Market and NonMarket Economies
Productivity and
Minimum Wage Laws
Special Problems in Labor Markets
National Output
NonEconomic Values
The History of Economics
Parting Thoughts

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of dozens of books including Charter Schools and Their Enemies, winner of the 2021 Hayek Book Prize. He is the recipient of numerous other awards, including the National Humanities Medal, presented by the President of the United States in 2003.

Bibliographic information