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The Use of Knowledge in Society by F.A. von Hayek

Karl Popper, The Poverty of Historicism, in three parts, "Economica" 1945/45.

Axel Leijonhofvud, Life Among the Econ, "Western Economic Journal", Sept 1973, 11 (3).

"The Econ tribe occupies a vast territory in the far North. Their land appears bleak and dismal to the outsider, and travelling through it makes for rough sledding; but the Econ, through a long period of adaptation, have learned to wrest a living of sorts from it. They are not without some genuine and sometimes even fierce attachment to their ancestral grounds, and their young are brought up to feel contempt for the softer living in the warmer lands of their neighbours, such as the Polscis and the Sociogs. Despite a common genetical heritage, relations with these tribes are strained - the distrust and contempt that the average Econ feels for these neighbours being heartily reciprocated by the latter - and social intercourse with them is inhibited by numerous taboos. The extreme clannishness, not to say xenophobia, of the Econ makes life among them difficult and perhaps even somewhat dangerous for the outsider."

Comments and more extracts from Peter Klein at Orgs and Marks

Great titles:

Ed Leamer, "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," AER, March 1983.

Xavier Sala-I-Martin, "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," AER, May 1997.

Stigler, "The Economist Plays with Blocs," AER, May 1954 [a critique of Galbraith's "countervailing power" argument]

Liebowitz and Margolis, "The Fable of the Keys," JLE, April 1990.

This isn't quite fair to Stigler, but I have to point out that his 1947 JPE paper on the kinked demand curve was titled "The Kinky Oligopoly Demand Curve and Rigid Prices."

And this violates the ten-year-or-older rule, and it's a dissertation, not an article, but I like:

Eric Anderson, _Pimps and Ferrets: Copyright and Culture in the United States, 1831-1891_, Bowling Green State University, American Culture Studies/History, 2007.

This is a fun topic.

Peter Klein selected some good ones. I think essay titles are important. For example, Armen Alchian is one of my favorite economic essayists, but I cannot seem to remember the exact title to any one of his essays.

Here are some of my favorites:

Ludwig Lachmann - "From Mises to Shackle: An Essay on Austrian Economics and the Kaledic Society"

Paul Davidson - "The Elephant and the Butterfly: Or Hysteresis and Post Keynesian Economics"

and some by Shackle:

"The Bounds of Unknowledge"

"The Romantic Mountain and the Classic Lake"

"Marginalism: The Harvest"

"A Student's Pilgrimage"

The Poverty of Historicism is amazing. However, in terms of modern economics my favorite essay was the one by George Stigler discussing his "capture" theory of regulation. Although I didn't always agree with Stigler, his emphasis on how regulation goes bad is perhaps one of the most important insights in the modern history of American economics.

Is there actually somewhere an online version of "What should economists do?". I couldn't find one the other day.

This is fun. I don't have snappy titles to suggest, but here are a couple of essays I love.

Buchanan's "Order Defined in the Process of its Emergence" is a great one. Here's the url:
A.A. Young's essay on increasing returns ( is another great one, IMHO.
Finally, if I may reach back even further, The Fable of BeeS:

I don't remember the author's name, and he was asked by an editor a few years ago to retitle this, but there was a monte carlo study that attacked the r-square titled:
"Don't get turned on by a tight fit."

Sorry for the lack of detail.

I can't think of anything better than James Buchanan: "Better than Plowing."

Tullock, Gordon. "The General Irrelevance of the General Impossibility Theorem." QJE, May 1967.

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