My Favorite Economics Education Resources

Here’s a list of some of my favorite Econ Ed resources:

MRUniversity. I teach from Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok’s Modern Principles textbook. This site features loads of videos and mini-courses that can be adapted to any econ course.

LearnLiberty. I’ve made a lot of videos for LearnLiberty, which is an online project of the Institute for Humane Studies. These are generally very short, high-quality videos on topics in economics, philosophy, political science, and history, and I use them in my own classes pretty extensively.

EconTalk. EconTalk is my favorite podcast, period. Every week for almost eleven years, Russ Roberts (for whom I worked during Spring Semester 2003 while he was still at Wash U) has an hour-long conversation with someone interesting about something interesting. There are conversations about basic economic principles and how they can be applied, and a lot of episodes feature guests discussing their most recent books or other projects. Michael Munger is the most frequently featured guest, and all of these episodes are worth a listen.

Macro Musings. Macro Musings is a more recent podcast done by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The host is David Beckworth, and it is far more carefully targeted at macroeconomic issues.

The Economic Imagination (My Column). I’ve been writing for Forbes in some capacity since 2009, and my semi-regular column features a lot of discussions of basic economic principles applied to “evergreen” issues like price controls, immigration restrictions, and drug policy.

FRED. The Federal Reserve Economic Database is one-stop shopping for pretty much any important US time series. The FRED App gives the user at-a-glance info on the US economy and at-a-glance info on the user’s location.

Run That Town. The Australian Bureau of Statistics made this app that’s kind of like SimCity but with demographics based on actual data from the 2011 Australian census. You play the role of a city manager who approves or denies different local projects (a TV station, a pub, a zoo, etc). You can spend money and clout to get things done, and you have to pay attention to the area’s demographics in order to determine who will or won’t be pleased with your actions. It’s a useful lesson in the difference between economics and politics as you aren’t trying to make money but trying to maximize your approval rating. That’s not the same thing as creating value.

Thomas Thwaites’ TED Talk. “How I Built a Toaster From Scratch.” Leonard Read’s classic “I, Pencil” comes to life in Thomas Thwaites’s quest to build a toaster completely from scratch. It pairs well with “I, Pencil.”

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “I, Pencil” Movie. CEI made an excellent short video about “I, Pencil” and what it says about a complex society with an extensive division of labor. It also includes several short videos in which I, Deirdre McCloskey, Lawrence Reed, and Walter Williams discuss the main ideas. The Foundation for Economic Education, now based in Atlanta, has a great website with lots of very useful content. It features a lot of very clear applications of basic economic principles.

EconLib: Library of Economics and Liberty. Here’s one of the internet’s greatest repositories of important ideas. They feature an extensive library of classics in economics, politics, and philosophy in an easy-to-use and easy-to-search interface. It’s maintained by the Liberty Fund, the same organization that sponsors EconTalk.

My Udemy Personal Finance course. This covers the very basics and was sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies’ LearnLiberty project. For $0, you can’t beat the price.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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