How to Think about the Economy: A Primer

Per Bylund

From the Preface ...

This little book was written to accomplish something big: economic literacy. It is intentionally kept very short to be inviting rather than intimidating, as economics books typically are. If I managed to meet this bar, you, the reader, will gain life-changing understanding of how the economy works in practically no time. This is lots of value at a very low cost.

If I have managed to exceed expectations, this book will also make you excited about what economics has to offer. Because economic literacy is mind-opening. Sound economic reasoning is an enormously powerful tool for understanding both the economy and society. It uncovers what is going on under the surface and why things are the way they are. In fact, economic literacy is necessary to properly understand the world.

Part I: Economics
1.   What Economics Is
           The Economy
           The Economic Problem
           Economics as Understanding
2.   Economic Theory
           The Starting Point
           Unpacking Human Action
           The Genius of the Action Axiom
3.   How to Do Economics
           The Meaning of Exchange
           Price and Value
           Price Mechanism
           The Step-by-Step Method
           Economics as a Social Science

Part II: Market
4.   A Process, Not a Factory
          A Coordinated Process
          Continuous Innovation
          Continuous Uncertainty
5.   Production and Entrepreneurship
          Production to Overcome Scarcity
          Capital and Production
          The Role of the Entrepreneur
          Entrepreneurs Make Mistakes
6.   Value, Money, and Price
          The Problem of Measuring Value
          The Use of Money
          The Emergence of Money
          The Importance of Money
          Money Prices
          Fiat Currency and Price Inflation
7.   Economic Calculation
          The Nature of a Productive Economy
          The Driving Force
          The Production of Value
          Entrepreneurship and Management

Part III: Intervention
8.   Monetary Intervention
          The Boom-Bust Cycle
          The Rate of Return and Capital Investments
          The Cause and Nature of the Artificial Boom
          The Turning Point
          The Corrective Bust
9.   Regulatory Intervention
          The Seen
          The Unseen
          The Unrealized
Conclusion: Action and Interaction
Further Reading

How to Think About the Economy: A Primer
Meet the Author
Per Bylund
Per Bylund

Per Bylund, PhD, is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Johnny D. Pope Chair in the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, and an Associate Fellow of the Ratio Institute in Stockholm. He has previously held faculty positions at Baylor University and the University of Missouri. Dr. Bylund has published research in top journals in both entrepreneurship and management as well as in both the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics and the Review of Austrian Economics. He is the author of three full-length books: How to Think about the Economy: A Primer, The Seen, the Unseen, and the Unrealized: How Regulations Affect our Everyday Lives, and The Problem of Production: A New Theory of the Firm. He has edited The Modern Guide to Austrian Economics and The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays In Honor of Joseph T. Salerno

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