The Economist: an MBA reader

This version: August 2011

One of the best ways to learn economics is by regularly reading ‘The Economist’, but for those who want to develop a more comprehensive understanding this approach can seem a little hit and miss. This anthology contains articles spanning the last decade, selected for their ability to do one of two things: (i) provide a concise and understandable explanation of an important concept; or (ii) as an application that could be used as the basis for discussion.

For students: Printing out the complete list might seem daunting but will serve as an excellent primer. Alternatively, you could view this list as a menu rather than a recipe and simply pick and choose topics that are of interest to you.

For teachers: Whilst I have compiled it with my own students in mind, the structure should allow you to customise it to tie into your own classes.

Instructions: Simply scroll down the list and open each link in a new tab. Then go through each in turn printing them out (I suggest printing on both sides). Put them in a folder and voila – a primer. At some point I will try to link to the print version, to make it even easier, but consider this a beta version.

If you use this anthology and have any comments please do get in touch so that I can continue to modify it.

Note: This anthology is not endorsed by ‘The Economist’ in any way and I am assuming that people who follow the links below have their own subscription. For Special Reports (in bold face) I have only linked to the first article, but the whole report is recommended.


1. Microeconomics

Price theory & comparative statics [1,2,3]

Entrepreneurship & information [4]

Prediction markets [5]

Competition policy [5]

Regulation [5]

Manufacturing [5]

2. Monetary policy

Causes of inflation

Inflation expectations & credibility

Inflation or price level targeting


Interest rates and capital misallocations


3. Output and employment

Aggregate demand & output gap

Price rigidity


Sovereign debt

4. Macroeconomics models

5. International trade

Forex determination [10]

Trade balance [10]

Balance of Payments [10]

Big Mac Index [10]

Trade policy [10]

Globalisation [12]

FDI [12]

6. Financial markets

Anomalies & applications [11]

EMH/news [11]

Investment vehicles [11]

CAPM [11]

7. Prosperity & development

Pre industrial growth [12]

Growth & productivity [12]

Poverty & inequality [12]

Migration [12]

Aid & microfinance [12]

Transition [12]

8. Country cases

9. Economic history

10. The state of economics & the role of economists