When you think of degrees centered around reading, Economics probably isn’t the first to spring to mind. However, we at IE University have designed an economics program with reading at its heart.

All of the academic content in our study plan can be supplemented through reading, which allows you to deepen and widen your knowledge base and become a more well-rounded, employable individual! The Director of the Bachelor in Economics, Patricia Gabaldon, recommends the following books for current and future IE University Economics students—and anyone fascinated by the subject. Check them out!

Patricia Gabaldon
  1. Robinson, James, and Acemoglu, Daron. Why Nations Fail. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2012.

In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson aim to answer the question of why some nations are rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine. To do this, they conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or the lack thereof).

why nations fail
  1. Mazzucato, Mariana. The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy. Hachette UK, 2018.

In this scathing indictment of our current global financial system, The Value of Everything rigorously scrutinizes the way economic value has been determined and reveals how the difference between value creation and value extraction has become increasingly blurry. Mariana Mazzucato argues that this blurriness allows certain actors in the economy to portray themselves as value creators, while in reality they were just moving existing value around or—even worse—destroying it.

the value of everything
  1. Sandel, Michael J. What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. Macmillan, 2012.

In his New York Times bestseller What Money Can’t Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes up one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Isn’t there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets? Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.

what money cant buy
  1. Levitt, Steven D. and Dubner, Stephen J. Freakonomics. William Marrow, 2005.

Freakonomics uses the tools of economics to explain real-world phenomena that are not conventionally thought of as “economic.” Freakonomics argues that data analysis and incentives can explain a lot about human behavior, and that a great deal of what experts and conventional wisdom tell us is wrong. As they explore these themes, the authors give us some powerful—and highly counterintuitive—insights into why the world is the way it is.

  1. Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Duflo, Esther. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. Public Affairs, 2011.

In this book, by drawing on their use of randomized control trials in development economics and their 15 years of research from Chile to India, Kenya and Indonesia, Banerjee and Duflo have identified wholly new aspects of the behavior of poor people, their needs, and the way that aid or financial investment can affect their lives. The work aims to defy certain presumptions: that microfinance is a cure-all, that schooling equates to learning, that poverty at the level of 99 cents a day is just a more extreme version of the experience any of us have when our income falls uncomfortably low. We are invited, ultimately, to think of a world beyond poverty.

poor economics
  1. Akerlof, George A., and Shiller, Robert J. Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why it Matters for Global Capitalism. Princeton University Press, 2010.

This book was written to promote the understanding of the role played by emotions in influencing economic decision-making. According to the authors, economists have tended to de-emphasize the importance of emotional factors, as the effects of emotions are difficult to model and quantify. The book asserts that a variety of otherwise puzzling questions can be answered once you allow for the effect that emotional drives, or “animal spirits,” have on economic factors.

economics book
  1. Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Macmillan, 2011.

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a masterful book on psychology and behavioral economics by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. It calls on the reader to learn their two systems of thinking, how they make decisions, and their greatest vulnerabilities to bad decisions.

thinking fast and slow

Enhancing the knowledge you gain in the Bachelor in Economics with these books will provide you with profound insight into how what you’re studying affects our world. Reading will also aid you in the practical aspects of the course, giving you that extra understanding when making decisions and crafting ideas and action plans. With so many diverse opportunities available to our Economics students, our program, enriched by enlightening readings, will help you to choose the unique path that’s best for you—just one of the reasons IE University grads stand out from the rest.