Free economics resources on-line

by on February 11, 2014 at 1:26 am in Economics, Education | Permalink

Here is a bleg from Austin Frakt:

I’m looking for free or cheap, but good, resources on economics, ones people might use for self-education. I’ve listed some about which I’m aware below, though I haven’t looked in detail at all of them, so the extent to which they—or that to which they link—are “good” is not fully known to me. I’m specifically not looking for health economics, and my interest is a bit tilted toward micro vs. macro, but not strongly. Nevertheless, if you’re aware of good stuff in the econ realm of any flavor, or have used any of the following, let me know what you think.

Though they can be high-cost if bought new, feel free to mention textbooks you like. Sometimes one can find them used or older editions for prices that someone intending to self-educate might pay. For what it’s worth, the texts I’ve read most closely are by Cowen and Tabarrok. I was impressed by their micro book and also enjoyed their macro one, some of my thoughts on which are here. Also, I’ve read and contributed to Health Economics, by Santerre and Neun. With that bias in mind, I recommend it.

Comments are open (time limited).

Here is a free economics resources page from Walter Antoniotti.  Alex recommends this Preston McAfee text.

1 karl February 11, 2014 at 1:33 am

this is the best free online econ resource i know of:

2 Otto Maddox February 11, 2014 at 1:39 am

That Karl has always had that sense of humor…..

3 Peter Schaeffer February 11, 2014 at 1:44 am
4 Peter Schaeffer February 11, 2014 at 1:44 am

Can’t say how good they are.

5 Ray Lopez encouraging frei libre February 11, 2014 at 2:07 am

If you want libros gratis, and many best sellers, try this Russian site, with the URL having the letters are shifted by one. That is, an “a” would become a “b” an a “M” would become an “N”: iuuq://fo.cpplgj.psh/

I am not promoting copyright infringement. Besides some of the works on this site are in the public domain. Anyway it is fair use somehow.

6 Rahul February 11, 2014 at 2:27 am

How about a Wall Street Journal subscription? Too applied?

7 Peter Schaeffer February 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm


The WSJ is a resource for learning business, not economics. Years ago (many), The Economist used to publish “schools briefs”. These were actual tutorials in economics. For example, they taught (among many other things), national income accounting.

See “Explaining the schools briefs” (

“This series of schools briefs revives The Economist’s occasional primers on topical subjects. The first series (published in 1975, on “Managing the British Economy”) was intended to help British economics students prepare for school leaving exams, though we hoped it would also be of wider use. Subsequent subjects ranged widely, from American government to science. We last published a schools brief in 1999. It was on finance, and concluded: “Some of the new financial technologies are, in effect, efforts to bottle up considerable uncertainties. If they work, the world economy will be more stable. If not, an economic disaster might ensue.””

I probably read them from 1975 to 1999. Apparently, they are restarting. The last sentence is a hoot.

8 yo February 11, 2014 at 2:58 am


9 Derrill Watson February 11, 2014 at 4:29 am

As a companion to my (not free) textbook on Food Policy for Developing Countries, we have 70+ free case studies on food policy at

10 Bill February 11, 2014 at 7:04 am

Coursera and, and ITunes U econ courses from U California, etc. too numerous to mention.

11 L. F. File February 11, 2014 at 7:08 am

Short, quick, simple (simplistic?), diagrammatic, cheap and clear explanation of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).


12 Dave Backus @ NYU February 11, 2014 at 7:24 am

We have a macro book that we use for MBA and undergrad courses. International scope, data emphasis. Posted free online, $9 at Amazon. Stata code for figures. Links near the top of

13 Dave Backus @ NYU February 11, 2014 at 7:28 am

Not ours, but see also OTexts:

14 Fallibilist February 11, 2014 at 8:23 am

Here’s a nice Wikiversity presentation of Mankiw’s 10 principles of economics.

15 Grant February 11, 2014 at 9:09 am

David Andolfatto has a macro textbook. The macro class in the MA program at Mason used it last year.

16 Arnold Kling February 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

This used to be the most comprehensive list of resources:

17 Sam February 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

Obstfeld & Rogoff – Foundations of International Macroeconomics is available in .pdf on the first page of google results.

18 john personna February 11, 2014 at 11:51 am
19 Paul February 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Closely related: Paddy Hirsch’s series of short videos targeted at explaining single economic and financial concepts like derivatives, currencies, inflation, the Fed, Volcker Rule, CDOs, repos, shadow banking… etc using a whiteboard and storytelling.

20 Paul February 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm
21 John B. in NE February 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm is a pair of online courses on micro and macro. I worked through both and learned a lot.

22 dave schutz February 12, 2014 at 6:37 am

I found my copy of the previous edition of Mankiw in the trash. Value for money unbeatable!

23 John Trevor February 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm


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