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Monday, August 6, 2018

An Economist’s Top 5 Books on Trade for Non-Economists

Don Boudreaux's recommended reading list for demystifying free trade.

Yesterday, Dan Mitchell sent to me the following e-mail:

If you were to recommend five publications on trade (for non-economist readers), what would be on your list?

Here’s my response:


Great question. Below is my answer. The books on this list are in no particular order:

– Russell Roberts, The Choice (3rd edition)

– Frederic Bastiat, Economic Sophisms (Liberty Fund last year published a new and expanded edition, brilliantly edited by David Hart)

– Pierre Lemieux, What’s Wrong with Protectionism? (Hot-off-the-press; co-published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University)

– Dan Griswold, Mad About Trade

– Johan Norberg, In Defense of Global Capitalism

I also recommend Paul Krugman’s Pop Internationalism and Doug Irwin’s Free Trade Under Fire (4th edition). Each of these books is a bit more advanced than the books on the above list, but nevertheless accessible to non-economists.

My vanity compels me to mention that I tried to write an accessible book on trade with my 2008 book, Globalization. I don’t dare speculate on whether or not I succeeded. Also, I have a primer on trade due out soon from the IEA.

I love all of your stuff, but I’m especially enjoying your recent works on trade.


Reprinted from Cafe Hayek.

  • Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University.