Philosophy and Economics

Readings in Philosophy and Economics

Preparatory readings

Before entering the programme, it is compulsory for every student to read at least two books from the following selection

One introductory textbook on philosophy of economics:

  • Julian Reiss, Philosophy of Economics – A Contemporary Introduction. London/New York: Routledge, 2013.

In addition to the book above, at least one of the following books:

  • Francesco Guala, The Methodology of Experimental Economics. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Jack Vromen, Economic Evolution. An Enquiry into the Foundations of 'New Institutional Economics'. London/New York: Routledge, 1995.
  • Michael D. Resnik, Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory. University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
  • Debra Satz, Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of the Market. Oxford University Press, 2010.

Naturally, you are encouraged to read more than two books from the above, and also to read any books from the below list.

Introductory Workshop

We will hold an introductory workshop with the staff and students from EIPE at the start of September at which new students will give presentations that are based on a part of one of the above books by Guala, Vromen, Resnik, or Satz.

Your presentation at the Introductory Workshop

Your task for this presentation is the following: After reading (at least) one of the books by Guala, Vromen, Resnik, or Satz in its entirety, you select a part from one of it. In your presentation, you briefly present the argument that is given in that part and evaluate it critically. The part you select should be at least a couple of pages and at most two chapters. Make sure that the part you select contains a substantial argument (i.e., the introductory chapters of any of those books will not lend themselves to this task). You will have about 5 mins for this presentation. Details will be arranged closer to the Introductory Workshop.

Further preparatory readings

Apart from the required preparatory reading, you are strongly advised to read as much as you can from the below literature, depending on your background and interests.

General Introductions to Philosophy of Economics

  • Fleurbaey, Marc, "Economics and Economic Justice", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (summer 2012 edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/economic-justice/>.
  • Hausman, Daniel M., "Philosophy of Economics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (spring 2013 edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2013/entries/economics/>.
  • Hausman, Daniel and Michael McPherson (2006). “Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy, and Public Policy”, (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press.

Introductions to Philosophy

  • Glymour, Clark (1997). “Thinking Things Through: an Introduction to Philosophical Issues and Achievements”, MIT University Presse.
  • Godfrey Smith, Peter (2003). “Theory and Reality”, University of Chicago Press.
  • Griffin, James (1996). “Value Judgement: Improving our Ethical Beliefs”, Clarendon Press.
  • Ladyman, James (2002). “Understanding Philosophy of Science”, Routledge.
  • LePore, Ernest (2000). “Meaning and Argument”, (revised edition 2003), Basil Blackwell.

Introductions to Economics

  • Gujurati, Damodar N. and Dawn C. Porter (1999). "Essentials of Econometrics", Mac Graw Hill.
  • Hargreaves Heap, et al (1992). “The Theory of Choice: A Critical Guide”, Basil Blackwell.
  • John Quiggin (2019). “Economics in Two Lessons”, Princeton University Press.
  • Samuelson, Paul and Nordhaus, William (1985). “Economics”, (latest edition 2010), McGraw Hill. 
  • Schelling, Thomas (1978). “Micromotives and Macrobehavior”, Norton.
  • The Core Team (2017). “The Economy, Economics for a Changing World”, Oxford University Press. Open Access Version: https://core-econ.org/the-economy/book/text/0-3-contents.html
  • Yonay, Yuval P. (1998). “The Struggle over the Soul of Economics”, Princeton University Press.

Writing, Methods, and Formal Methods

  • Hacking, Ian (2001). “An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic”, Cambridge University Press.
  • Martinich, Aloysius P. (2005). “Philosophical Writing: An Introduction”, (3rd edition), Basil Blackwell.
  • Papineau, David (2012). “Philosophical Devices: Proofs, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Sets”, Oxford University Press. 
  • Steinhart, Eric (2009). “More Precisely: The Math You Need to Do Philosophy”, Broadview Press.

Philosophy of Economics

  • Alexandrova, Anna (2017). “A Philosophy of Science for Wellbeing”, Oxford University Press.
  • Bowles, Samuel (2016). “The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are no Substitute for Good Citizens”, Yale University Press.
  • Posner, Eric and Glen Weyl (2018). “Radical Markets – Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society”, Princeton University Press.
  • Sugden, Robert (2018). “The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economists Books Defence of the Free Market”, Oxford University Press.

Philosophy of Economics: Bedtime readings

  • Backhouse, Roger E. (2002). “The Penguin History of Economics”, Penguin Books.
  • Heilbroner, Robert L. (2000). “The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers”, Penguin Books.
  • Levitt, Steven B. and Stephen J. Dubner (2005). “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything”, HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Rodrik, Dani (2015). “Economics Rules”, New York: Norton & Company.
  • Thaler, Richard H and Cass R. Sunstein (2008). “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness”, Penguin Books Ltd..