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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6397/books-i-wish-i-had-read-before-starting-graduate-school/

Books I wish I had read before starting graduate school.

March 19, 2007 by

To follow up and expand on the closing ASC session on graduate school, I wrote up this short list. I hope those interested will find it helpful.


Adam March 19, 2007 at 8:40 pm

I would add Kreps and possibly Thinking Strategically.

Brent March 20, 2007 at 2:13 am

I would say that understanding where graduate school is coming from has been highly helpful for me. Thankfully, there are many Austrian thinkers whose writings are widely available!

As for texts, I highly recommend Stock and Watson’s Introduction to Econometrics for those who fear the statistics-heavy courses.

adi March 20, 2007 at 5:51 am

I would say that Erwin Kreyszig’s Advanced Engineering Mathematics (8th edition, John Wiley) is good book for those who want to have a more advanced training in mathematics. And Walter Rudin’s Real and Complex Analysis is good too..

William Greene’s Econometric Analysis is good book about econometrics (5th edition, Pearson).

Only problem is that one should have at least 1-2 years of studies of real analysis and statistics before starting graduate studies.

Dropout March 20, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Until you can study praxeology instead of economics as a graduate field of study, I will never return to complete my PhD. I was told to “get over” Austrian thinking so I left. No real analysis will ever tell you anything about human action.

rtr March 20, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Dropout: “Until you can study praxeology instead of economics as a graduate field of study, I will never return to complete my PhD. I was told to “get over” Austrian thinking so I left. No real analysis will ever tell you anything about human action.”

The action is out in the internet trenches these days anyway. ‘Course you won’t get paid for schooling and upbraiding, but neither would you as a university professor in a free market either. It’s only because of Copyright and government interference in the education market (and the subsequent regulation of “qualifications”) that price even exists for “general” education these days (I suppose there could still be a limited market for high paid individual tutors).

Everything which is taught from K-PhD can be simulated on-line, available to all instantaneously for free. As a teacher, you’re competing to be *heard*. Instead of a massive wastefully inefficient system of one teacher per X = approximately 30 students, you could have the absolute 0.1% best of all teachers teaching all the students simultaneously, constantly being updated and archived with the best methods and examples. That should get 95% of the education budget and fire 99% of the teachers right there. PhDs and all degrees are just a high level Union Card.

And if you don’t want to play catch up as you start grad school, you would likely know all the info in those recommended texts as a second year undergrad at the University of Chicago. But I guess you’re getting 90% mathematical masturbation no matter where you go to study economics, unless you’re lucky enough to know to seek Austrian instructors before you begin college studies.

Alan Dunn March 24, 2007 at 4:41 am


Welcome to my world :0)

I rarely say this, but I agree 100% with your comments because I too pulled the plug for the very same reasons.

kudos to you rtr

dex March 26, 2007 at 8:19 pm

Alright, so what about books you wish you read while an undergrad in order to counteract the numbers-heavy, human action-lite economic major curriculum?

I am getting very, very frustrated with my current economic classes (almost to the point of resenting have to pay for them) because they all seem to be missing the point. Instead of listening to a never-ending lecture on the validity of sophisticated statistical analysis and supply and demand curves, I find myself browsing the Internet in search of something more.

I am just very frustrated in having to choose between mainstream teachers and Marxist teachers in order to get a degree, and I would like as many books on the proper way to think about economics as possible…just to keep my sanity.

Daniel J. D'Amico March 26, 2007 at 9:22 pm


Hayek: Law, Legislation, and Liberty

Mises: Theory and History (read it before human action)

Lachmann: Capital and Interest

rtr March 26, 2007 at 9:38 pm

You’ve got to keep in mind dex that you’re studying economics at a period of time where very little is known (and much garbage is claimed to be falsely known), even by the elite Nobel Prize winning economists at elite universities. It’s very akin to the pre-Copernius age where the common belief was that the sun revolves around the earth, in the field of economics. Reading sites like this is a good start. Read Human Action. Read Human Action again another 9 times. Read all the free info on this site. Read Menger. Check out wikipedia and Austrian economics. I ended up back here from a link there to a great Rothbard chapter on how Adam Smith was a plagiarist that set the field back hundreds of years and set Marx off with borrowed fallacies from Adam Smith.

Just remember. The only way you’re getting a degree in economics at any institution, Austrian included, is to declare that the sun revolves around the earth. You’re damn right it’s absurd to pay for that lol.

It doesn’t take much to become more educated than a Nobel Prize winning economist. But if you do your homework you can humiliate and upbraid in argument whilst furthering the cause of truth. There’s good utility value in that. :P That’s perception and analysis skills which are rare (for the time being). In the meantime, you’ll be best served by working forward and backward from what’s known true and what’s not known true but falsely claimed as true. Piecing together the how, tracing the methodological evolution, that’s what you should concentrate on in your spare time.

Quick: how can a diamond be more valuable than a glass of water? How did we get to the answer here from the non-answer 2,000+ years ago that perplexed the ancient Greeks? But yeah, if you go this route, you’re really majoring in advanced philosophy of knowledge, epistemology. History and Philosophy of Science courses should be very interesting to the Austrian inclined. This is why economics is taking over other academic fields like social sociology, political science, philosophy, biology, physics, chemistry.

It’s just a matter of time (relatively short term imo) before so-called smart people get tired of being intellectually humiliated. Truth spreads like wild fire. I seriously get off telling people all knowledge is absolutely known. If they disagree they are necessarily declaring that all which they say is necessarily gibberish. It’s an exciting time with the advent of the internet.

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