Since I have been writing a bit on economics in general and foreign aid in particular of late, and since I am often asked for book recommendations, it seemed appropriate at this time to offer a very brief selection of works I have found helpful here. There are of course zillions of books available on economics, wealth and poverty, and related issues.
The volumes I am recommending are of necessity a very narrow subset of all the works available. The three main parameters I will adopt here are these: they are mainly Christian titles; they are mainly somewhat recent titles; and they are mainly those volumes defending the free market approach to economics and political economy.
I offer this admittedly very narrow range of titles for several reasons: to keep this bibliography brief, and to offer books I more or less feel myself in agreement with. They reflect my personal view of these matters in other words. Those who don’t like my position here will not be all that happy then with my choices here.
I am certainly aware of plenty of titles which take different approaches. But my purpose here is not to just offer a general pro and con listing. When people ask me about what books I would recommend on economics, these are the sorts of titles I would recommend.
When I was a young lefty I of course preferred books from quite differing points of view on economics. But I have shifted in my political and economic views over the years. As a reflection of that, in 1990 I published a book entitled Modern Conservative Thought.
That was an annotated bibliography of over 700 volumes, some 200 of which were on economics and political economy. So what I offer here is just a very brief representation of my own library and what I might have recommended had space permitted.
These 50 or so titles are only a few of the many books which could be mentioned. But they would make for a good start for those wanting to proceed further along these lines.
General Christian Works
Baker, David, Tight Fists or Open Hands? Wealth and Poverty in Old Testament Law. Eerdmans, 2009.
Blomberg, Craig, Neither Poverty Nor Riches. Apollos, 1999.
Claar, Victor and Robin Klay, Economics in Christian Perspective. InterVarsity Press, 2007.
Clouse, Robert G., ed., Wealth and Poverty: Four Christian Views on Economics. InterVarsity Press, 1984.
Corbett, Steve and Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts. Moody Press, 2009, 2012.
Gushee, David, ed., Toward a Just and Caring Society: Christian Responses to Poverty in America. Baker, 1999.
Holman, Susan, ed., Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society. Baker, 2008.
Schneider, John, Godly Materialism. IVP, 1994.
Stackhouse, Max, et. al. eds., On Moral Business: Classical and Contemporary Resources for Ethics in Economic Life. Eerdmans, 1995.
Wheeler, Sondra, Wealth As Peril and Obligation: The New Testament on Possessions. Eerdmans, 1995.
Witherington, Ben, Jesus and Money. Brazos Press, 2010.
Pro Free Market Christian Works
Beisner, E. Calvin, Prosperity and Poverty: The Compassionate Use of Resources in a World of Scarcity. Crossway Books, 1988.
Chilton, David, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators. Institute for Christian Economics, 1981, 1985.
Davis, John Jefferson, Your Wealth in God’s World: Does the Bible Support the Free Market? Presbyterian and Reformed, 1984.
Griffiths, Brian, The Creation of Wealth: A Christian’s Case for Capitalism. InterVarsity Press, 1984.
Griffiths, Brian, Morality and the Marketplace. Hodder and Stoughton, 1982.
Grudem, Wayne, Business for the Glory of God. Crossway, 2003.
Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus, The Poverty of Nations. Crossway, 2013.
Hore-Lacy, Ian, Creating Common Wealth. Albatross Books, 1985.
Lindsell, Harold, Free Enterprise: A Judeo-Christian Defense. Tyndale House, 1982.
Nash, Ronald, Poverty and Wealth: The Christian Debate Over Capitalism. Crossway Books, 1986.
Nash, Ronald, Social Justice and the Christian Church. Mott Media, 1983.
Novak, Michael, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. Simon & Schuster, 1982.
Novak, Michael, The Universal Hunger for Liberty. Basic Books, 2004.
Richards, Jay, Money, Greed, and God. HarperOne, 2010.
Schaeffer, Franky, ed., Is Capitalism Christian? Crossway Books, 1985.
Siroco, Robert, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy. Regnery, 2012.
Other Pro Free Market Works
Bauer, P.T., Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion. Harvard University Press, 1981.
Berger, Peter, The Capitalist Revolution. Basic Books, 1986.
Bhagwati, Jagdish, In Defense of Globalization. Oxford University Press, 2004.
Brookes, Warren, The Economy in Mind. Universe Books, 1982.
Brooks, Arthur, The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future. Basic Books, 2010.
Crozier, Brian and Arthur Seldon, Socialism: The Grand Delusion. Universe Books, 1986.
De Soto, Hernando, The Mystery of Capital. Basic Books, 2000.
De Soto, Hernando, The Other Path. Harper and Row, 1989.
Friedman, Milton, Capitalism and Freedom. University of Chicago Press, 1962.
Friedman, Milton and Rose Friedman, Free To Choose. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980.
Gilder, George, Wealth and Poverty. Basic Books, 1981.
Hayek, Friedrich, The Road To Serfdom. University of Chicago Press, 1944.
Kristol, Irving, Two Cheers For Capitalism. New American Library, 1978.
Lott, John, Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t. Regnery, 2007.
Mises, Ludwig von, Human Action. Yale University Press, 1949.
Murphy, Robert, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism. Regnery, 2007.
Murray, Charles, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. Basic Books, 1984.
Sowell, Thomas, Basic Economics. Basic Books, 2003.
Sowell, Thomas, Knowledge and Decisions. Basic Books, 1980.
Sowell, Thomas, Markets and Minorities. Basic Books, 1981.
Stiglitz, Joseph, Globalization and its Discontents. W.W. Norton, 2003.
Voegeli, William, Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State. Encounter Books, 2010.
Wolf, Martin, Why Globalization Works. Yale University Press, 2004.