Blog

25 Economics Blogs Anyone Can Appreciate

by Staff Writers

Considering how often economics crops up on the news these days, the subject sticks with the familiar and unfamiliar alike. But the discipline’s complex series of formulas and concepts (not to mention the utterly polarizing philosophies) tends to leave novices feeling locked out. While the following blogs won’t always feature content accessible to the masses without an economics degree, they do provide at least some modicum of accessibility. Far more than peer-reviewed academic journals, anyways. Seeing as how there exist about as many ideologies as demographics to hold them, some listings my not necessarily gel well with how readers view the world. And that’s OK! This article focuses far more on how greenhorn economists might maneuver materials rather than promoting any one particular school. After all, the only way to form a truly cogent opinion on the topic remains exploring all of them first.

  1. Freakonomics: A blog, podcast, website, radio show, book and more, the Freakonomics phenomenon makes the frequently inaccessible subject "for the people." Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt illustrate basic economics principles using everyday — or at least very familiar — principles.

  2. Planet Money: NPR hosts a fascinating, intelligent, and frequently humorous blog all about global economics and relevant current events. Not everything here necessarily relates back to money, but when it does, general audiences can understand the information Planet Money relays.

  3. Forbes Op/Ed: Economics: Business juggernaut Forbes features a slew of blogs on a surprisingly broad range of subjects. But this is an economics list, so they don’t matter. This particular offering cobbles together all it can about the subject and features a generous stable of writers and insights.

  4. Ludwig von Mises Institute Blog: Obviously, not everyone will agree with this organization’s outspoken libertarian stance, but the official blog does make its ideologies pretty explicit. The Ludwig von Mises Institute considers itself of the Austrian School of economics, so this makes for an interesting resource when researching its various interpretations and applications.

  5. Real Time Economics: This Wall Street Journal publication deals with current events regarding economics, with plenty of commentary and analysis. Super novices may not always process everything they’re saying, but it’s still very possible to find something educational and readable for all experience levels.

  6. Greg Mankiw’s Blog: Harvard professor Greg Mankiw teaches introduction to economics, keeping a blog as a means of staying in touch with students current and former as well as his contemporaries. Even individuals who don’t fall into either demographic can still learn a thing or two from his accessible writings, jokes, interviews, videos, and other shared resources.

  7. Economix: The New York Times‘ Economix blog discusses economics on the whole as well as its its role in daily phenomena and ephemera — as one can probably assume from the title! Like Freakonomics, it does a great job distilling an academic subject into something more palatable for general readerships.

  8. Tax.com: Written with everyday taxpayers in mind, this resource cobbles together citizen opinions regarding policy and payments. Obviously, nobody will ever come to the exact same economic conclusions, but the site does offer up an excellent conduit for learning more about taxes and everyday people.

  9. Nudge: Nudge accompanies a book by the same name, which outlines the concepts of "choice architecture" and "libertarian paternalism." No worries, though. Both reads do a pretty explicit job defining these economic ideas, and presenting them in the context of both personal finance and overarching national and global impact.

  10. Free Exchange: The Economist uses Free Exchange to promote discourse regarding global finance and economics issues, spiced with plenty of current events and politics. The blog’s title comes from Adam Smith’s conjectures about how the free, respectful exchange of ideas and information ends up satisfying all participants.

  11. About.com: Economics: Jodi Briggs heads up About.com’s Economics portal, which provides more than just a blog regarding its micro and macro forms. Everything here is pretty easy to understand for a wide audience, but be sure to read other parts of her site as well!

  12. Popular Economics Weekly: Harlan Russell Green heads up Popular Economics Weekly (among other reads) for the express purpose of demystifying the often hefty subject. Content tends towards commenting on current events, although it definitely covers other relevant economics topics as well.

  13. Cheap Talk: Pick up some information about behavioral economics, courtesy of Northwestern University’s Sandeep Baliga and Jeff Ely. Both professors share their course reading lists and classroom content, for intermediate students and readers aching to know more.

  14. Economist’s View: University of Oregon’s Mark Thoma maintains a massive, incredibly well-liked blog bursting with commentary. Like many resources listed here, general audiences might not be able to wrap their minds around EVERY entry, but they’ll still find themselves a thing or two.

  15. Economistmom.com: In case the title didn’t give it away, the author of this blog is both an economist and a mother. She pulls from her two favorite life roles in order to illuminate how her field impacts daily life, and does so in a manner most approachable.

  16. tutor2u Economics: Because the site targets teachers and students, the articles found on tutor2u’s dedicated economics blog easily supplement lessons. Even individuals just wanting to read up on the subject can find something interesting or enlightening here, and take quizzes measuring how much they’ve learned.

  17. The Baseline Scenario: Economics novices struggling to make sense of the subject’s current ubiquity should start by reading The Baseline Scenario’s "Financial Crisis for Beginners." From there, move onto the blog and watch current events unfold from a global financial perspective.

  18. The Marginal Revolution: Like many of the other resources listed here, The Marginal Revolution might share content general readers find too inaccessible. It remains a pretty popular blog all the same, and one worth exploring when learning more about the different economic approaches and opinions out there.

  19. Calculated Risk: This extremely popular read is all about finances and economics, but might intimidated the fiscally uninitiated. All the same, though, Calculated Risk attracts a bevy of followers finding its content highly informative and useful — so it certainly warrants inclusion!

  20. Stumbling and Mumbling: Chris Dillow writes for Investors Chronicle during the day and takes to his own personal blog when discussing politics, economics, social issues and their myriad overlaps. He frequently includes links to definitions and articles so relative newcomers can follow along, although they might not always process the more difficult concepts.

  21. The Center for Popular Economics Blog: Activists and economists work together to illustrate how the discipline is and can be used to promote equality and justice. Check their blog for more information regarding these principles, relayed in a way that most readers will likely understand. These days, though, it mostly discusses the current financial crisis.

  22. Caf– Hayek: In addition to the blog itself, which comments on a wide array of economic, political and social topics, half the Caf– Hayek duo also hosts the EconTalk podcast. As per usual, not every reader will necessarily agree with everything Russ Roberts and Don Boudreux say, but it does provide them different perspectives.

  23. Blogs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: With three different blogs available, visitors here sate their curiosity for everything from macroeconomics to real estate information. These reads also shed some light on how the government works and, to some extent, perceive different financial and economic issues.

  24. Lawrence Economics Blog: Presented by Appleton, Wisconsin-based Lawrence University, this blog presents economics simply but effectively. David Gerard’s discussions can get pretty casual, making his writings an excellent supplement to classroom lessons.

  25. Thoughts on Economics: When looking for criticism aimed at mainstream and classical schools, turn towards the Thoughts on Economics blog. Author Robert Vienneau shies away from current events and politics, preferring commentary, critique and forays into his specific interests: Old Institutionalism and Post Keynesism.