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EconGOAT Mini-Review

It’s a free book (get it here) from Tyler Cowen written during the pandemic.

As he says himself, the key to the book is writing it from a fan’s perspective – a book about the greatest economists of all time.

If you aren’t going to read in deep about Hayek, Adam Smith, Keynes, Friedman, Malthus and Mill – this book offers a great intro and high level overview.

Some highlights for me were:

  • Mill – Realising how strong (even if early) Mill’s thinking was on supply and demand AND how he foresaw the women’s rights movement and the need for it. (Perhaps in future there will be a children’s rights movement where we treat children more like adults).
  • How Keynes was a very high level macro thinker but not great at microeconomics.
  • How Malthus’ theory of food supplies limiting growth and quality of life was a good insight for 99% of history!

The book also inspired me to dig deeper on Friedman’s paper on commodity-reserve currencies – see my piece on that here.

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