Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2nd Edition

by Don Boudreaux on November 27, 2007

in Books, Economics

One of the most useful resources that I’ve taken advantage of during the past 15 years is David Henderson’s Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (originally the Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics).  Its entries are written in crystal-clear language and, together, they cover an impressively large range of topics.

The first edition remains online here; I just discovered that the second edition has just been published by Liberty Fund.  I’ll order mine now.  I encourage each of you to order a copy.  It’s a genuine gem.

Be Sociable, Share!



8 comments    Share Share    Print    Email


Marcus November 27, 2007 at 11:50 pm

Thanks Don! Ordering mine now.

John Lott November 29, 2007 at 9:31 pm

Unfortunately, these entries are horribly out of date. I have only checked ones that I know well, but of those the bibliographies only go past 1990 a few times and then never past 1992. Here are a few examples:

Take the one on the Health Care Industry:

Danzon, Patricia M. "Hidden Overhead Costs: Is Canada's System Really Less Expensive?" Health Affairs (Spring 1992): 21-43.

Frech, H. Edward, III, ed. Health Care in America: The Political Economy of Hospitals and Health Insurance. 1988.

Manning, Willard, et al. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment." American Economic Review 77, no. 3 (June 1987): 251-77.

Pauly, Mark, Patricia Danzon, Paul Feldstein, and John Hoff. "A Plan for 'Responsible National Health Insurance.'" Health Affairs (Spring 1991): 5-21.


Further Reading

Chamberlin, Edward. The Theory of Monopolistic Competition, 7th ed. 1956.

Goldman, Marshall. "Product Differentiation and Advertising: Some Lessons from the Soviet Experience." Journal of Political Economy 68 (1960): 346-57.

Klein, Benjamin, and Keith Leffler. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance." Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 615-41.

Crime (though this is more reasonable):

Becker, Gary S. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach." Journal of Political Economy 76 (1968): 169-217.

Becker, Gary S., & George J. Stigler. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers." Journal of Legal Studies 3 (1974): 1-18.

Benson, Bruce. The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State. 1990.

Ehrlich, Isaac. "The Deterrent Effect of Criminal Law Enforcement." Journal of Legal Studies 1 (1972): 259-76.

Friedman, David. "Private Creation and Enforcement of Law—A Historical Case." Journal of Legal Studies 8 (1979): 399-415.

Friedman, David. "Efficient Institutions for the Private Enforcement of Law." Journal of Legal Studies 13 (1984): 379-97.

Friedman, David. The Machinery of Freedom. 1971.

Landes, William M., and Richard A. Posner. "The Private Enforcement of Law." Journal of Legal Studies 4 (1975): 1-46.

Reuter, Peter, and Jonathan B. Rubinstein. "Fact, Fancy, and Organized Crime." The Public Interest 53 (Fall 1978): 45-67.


Benham, Lee. "The Effect of Advertising on the Price of Eyeglasses." Journal of Law and Economics 15 (October 1972): 337-52.

Borden, Neil H. The Economic Effects of Advertising. 1942.

Comanor, William S., and Thomas A. Wilson. "Advertising and Competition: A Survey." Journal of Economic Literature 17 (June 1979): 453-76.

Ekelund, Robert B., Jr., and David S. Saurman. Advertising and the Market Process. 1988.

Schmalensee, Richard. The Economics of Advertising. 1972.

Telser, Lester. "Advertising and Competition." Journal of Political Economy 72 (December 1964): 537-62.

Telser, Lester. "Some Aspects of the Economics of Advertising." Journal of Business 41 (April 1968): 166-73.

Government Spending (the raw data here only goes up 1990):

Baumol, William J. "The Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: The Anatomy of the Urban Crisis." American Economic Review 57 (June 1967): 415-26.

Borcherding, Thomas, ed. Budgets and Bureaucrats. 1977.

Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan. 1987.

Public Schooling:

Boaz, David, ed. Liberating Schools: Education in the Inner City. 1991.

Chubb, John E., and Terry M. Moe. Politics, Markets, and America's Schools. 1990.

Coleman, James S., and Thomas Hoffer. Public and Private High Schools: The Impact of Communities. 1987.

Finn, Chester E., Jr. We Must Take Charge: Our Schools and Our Future. 1991.

Sizer, Theodore R. Horace's Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School. 1985.

John Lott November 29, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Sorry, I didn't see that the link was for the first edition. I assume that the new edition is updated.

Biomed Tim December 17, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Wow. John Lott of Freedomnomics? I think you listed more than "a few" examples.

Does anyone know if the online edition will be updated eventually?

Previous post:

Next post: