Popular Political Economy

About this Collection

The following works were written to explain economic ideas to a popular audience. They span a time frame from the late 1820s, when the expansion of the franchise in Britain required an electorate better informed on economic matters, to the present. The title for this Topic comes from one of the earliest practitioners, the ex-British naval officer Thomas Hodgskin, who delivered a series of 4 lectures in 1827 entitled Popular Political Economy at the London Mechanics Institution (a working class organization which was formed to further the education of its members).

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List



Economic Theory. Demography




Fiction And Juvenile Belles Lettres


General Works


Social Sciences


Socialism. Communism. Anarchism


Not Categorized

Armonias Economicas

Frédéric Bastiat (author)

A Spanish translation of Bastiat’s best known work on “economic harmonies” in which he explains in simple terms how the free market operates to everybody’s benefit.

The Best of Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat (author)

The Best of Bastiat (BOB) is a collection of some of the best material in Liberty Fund’s 6 volume edition of The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat (2011-). They are chapter length extracts and have been formatted as pamphlets for…

BOLL 14: Paul Heyne, “Economics Is a Way of Thinking” (1995)

Paul Heyne (author)

This essay is by the American economist Paul Heyne who explains in a mere 5 pages how to think like an economist. Anyone can learn to think like an…

Essays (Glamorgan Pamphlets)

Jane Haldimand Marcet (author)

These economic fairy tales and parables published by Jane Marcet in the 1830s charm with their light-hearted wit. IMarcet illustrates such topics as the economics of wages and income distribution. The John Hopkins series reprinted…


Property Rights

Louis Wolowski and Pierre Émile Levasseur argue that Property is “the fruit of human liberty” and that Violence and Conquest have done much to disturb this natural order (1884)

Louis Wolowski

The State

Spooner on the difference between a government and a highwayman (1870)

Lysander Spooner

Religion & Toleration

William Leggett argues that Thanksgiving Day is no business of the government (1836)

William Leggett

Property Rights

Wolowski on property as a sacred right which is an emanation from man’s very being (1863)

Louis Wolowski