Tyler Cowen’s New Generative Book & The Greatest Economic Papers of All Time

Tyler Cowen, co-author of the blog Marginal Revolution, recently joined the EconTalk podcast to talk about his latest book, GOAT: Who is the Greatest Economist of all Time and Why Does it Matter?

The book is available for free here.

Tyler describes the book as a “generative book”. The book’s website contains a GPT-4 chatbot that you can query to ask any question about the book. Even have the bot re-write passages.

In the podcast Tyler shares what he considers to be the best of the best economic papers from the greatest Economists of all time. Best being defined as worth reading and re-reading.

Here is the list:

Friedrich Hayek

The Use of Knowledge in Society

The Road to Serfdom

Hayek has the five best articles ever. Start with Use of Knowledge in Society, that is the single greatest Economics article ever written. It has no math and is highly readable, it will change how you view the world if it hasn’t already. It wins GOAT for best article ever.

Tyler Cowen

John Maynard Keynes

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Chapter 12 is most important)

Adam Smith

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (in particular the theories of national defense and education towards the end of the book)

Milton Friedman

Essays in Positive Economics

The American Economic Review (March 1968 Presidential Address)

John Stuart Mill

The Subjection of Women

On Liberty

Thomas Robert Malthus

An Essay on the Principle of Population (3rd edition is recommended)