Advanced Topics in Liberty

Economics from Smith to Friedman

Discussion Leader: Tawni Ferrarini, Northern Michigan University

The goal of this conference is to introduce participants to classic authors and key concepts in free market economics. The intention is to go beyond basic matters of supply and demand and efficiency concerns to consider the broader social and institutional ramifications of a free market system.


Session 1:        Division of Labor

Smith, Adam. “Of the Division of Labour,”  “Of the Principle which give occasion to the Division of Labour,”  & “That the Division of Labour is limited by the Extent of the Market.”  An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,  Volume I. Edited by R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982. p 13-24, 25-30, 31-36

Tucker, Robert C., eds.  “Cooperation,” & “Division of Labor and Manufacture.” The Marx-Engels Reader, Second Edition, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978. p 384-388, 388-403


Session 2:        Production and Trade

Ricardo, David. “On Foreign Trade.”  The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Volume 1: On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.  Edited by Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004. p 128-149

Smith, Adam.  “Of the Character of the Individual so far as it affects his own Happiness; or of Prudence.”  & “Of the Character of the Individual so far as it can affect the Happiness of other People.”  The Theory of Moral Sentiments . Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982. p 212-217, 218-227

Tucker, Robert C., eds.  “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.” The Marx-Engels Reader, Second Edition, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978. p 70-81


Session 3:        Protectionism

Bastiat, Frederic. “A Petition,” “An Immense Discovery!” “Reciprocity,” & “A Negative Railroad.” Economic Sophisms . Edited by Goddard, Arthur. Irvington-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996. p 54-60, 63-66, 67-69, 94-95.

List, Frederich. “Private Economy and National Economy.”  The National System of Political Economy . Edited by Nicholson, J. Shield. Translated by Sampson S. Lloyd. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909. p 125-131


Session 4:        Capitalism and the Market Economy

von Mises, Ludwig. “The Ordinary Man’s Social Philosophy.”  The Anti-capitalistic Mentality.  Edited by Bettina Bien Greaves. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2006. p 21-28

Rogge, Benjamin A. “Can Capitalism Survive?,” “Introduction,” “The Businessman in Defense of Capitalism,” & “Reflections on the Election of 1964.” Can Capitalism Survive?  Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1979. p 15-36, 285-286, 287-300, 301-306


Session 5:        Laissez-faire

Hayek, Friedrich A. “The Use of Knowledge in Society.”  The American Economic Review 35, no. 4 (September 1945): p 519–530.

Keynes, John Maynard. “The End of Laissez-Faire,” & “Am I a Liberal?” Essays in Persuasion. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991. p 312-322, 323-338


Session 6:        Economic Crises

Rothbard, Murray N. “The Positive Theory of the Cycle.” America's Great Depression, Fifth Edition. Auburn: Mises Institute, 2000. p 3-36

Friedman, Milton and Rose Friedman. “The Anatomy of Crisis.” Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (1st Harvest/HBJ edition). San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990. p 70-90