Course Description

Economics in One Day

Economics is not just dry, statistical analysis or complex mathematical models. It’s fun and inspiring. And since human choice is the starting point for all of economics, learning it should be relatable and intuitive.

FEE's Economics in One Day is both an in-person workshop and an online course, providing an inspiring introduction to the principles of the market economy. You'll learn about scarcity, prosperity, values, cooperation, character, markets, spontaneous order, and entrepreneurship. You'll see the profound effect of free markets on our standards of living.

The workshop is a 3-5 hour, self-paced learning experience with a focus on the humane value of free markets, with hands-on activities and guided discussions centered on themes from Leonard E. Read’s classic essay ‘I, Pencil’. Best of all, it is designed to be delivered by non-economists using interactive, hands-on activities and guided discussions. The online course is a wonderful resource, both as a standalone course for those who want to learn on their own, and as a supplement for workshop participants.

FEE Courses

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Overview

    • Additional Resources

    • Contents

    • ​The Story of I, Pencil​

    • I, Pencil: The Movie by CEI

  • 2

    Vision for a Better Future

    • Our Shared Values

    • Human Well-being

    • 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

    • The Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity

    • Social Cooperation

    • Social Cooperation by Sheldon Richman

    • Competition and Cooperation by David Boaz

    • Personal Character

    • Character, Liberty, and Economics by Lawrence W. Reed

  • 3

    Introduction to Economics

    • What is Economics?

    • Individual Action

    • Scarcity

    • Scarcity by Russell Shannon

    • Choice

    • Subjective Value

    • Subjective Value by Learn Liberty

    • Subjective Value by Max Borders

    • Tradeoffs and Opportunity Cost

    • Opportunities and Costs by Dwight Lee

    • Getting the Most Out of Life: The Concept of Opportunity Cost by Russell Roberts

    • Incentives

    • Incentives Matter by Learn Liberty

    • The Power of Incentives by Dwight Lee

    • Incentives Matter by Russell Roberts

  • 4

    The Market Process

    • The Market

    • Voluntary Exchange

    • Why Do We Exchange Things? by Learn Liberty

    • Gains from Trade

    • Trade Is Made of Win by Learn Liberty

    • Free Trade and the Climb Out of Poverty by Steven Horwitz

    • Specialization and Division of Labor

    • Specialization and Trade by Learn Liberty

    • Emergent Order

    • Can Order Be Unplanned? by Learn Liberty

    • The Reality of Markets by Russell Roberts

    • The Reality of Markets by Russell Roberts

    • Competition and Cooperation

    • Competition Is Cooperation by Sheldon Richman

    • Competition and Cooperation by Steven Horwitz

    • “Trade Is Made of Win,” Part 2: Cooperation by Learn Liberty

  • 5

    The Intersection of Politics, Law, and Economics

    • Politics, Law, and Economics

    • Rules and Institutions

    • The Importance of Institutions by Mercatus Center

    • Property Rights

    • What’s So Great about Economic Freedom? by Learn Liberty

    • Private Property and Opportunity Costs by Dwight Lee

    • Rule of Law

    • Essential Hayek: Rule of Law by Fraser Institute

    • Culture and Values

    • What Caused The Economic Boom of Wealth?

    • Government Intervention

    • Politics without Romance

    • Why Is There Corn in Your Coke? by Learn Liberty

    • How Cronyism is Hurting the Economy by Learn Liberty

    • Knowledge Problem

    • What Do Prices “Know” That You Don’t? by Learn Liberty

    • The Price System, Part 1: Information by Learn Liberty

    • Seen and Unseen

    • Broken Window Fallacy by Learn Liberty

  • 6

    The Role of the Entrepreneur in Society

    • Value Creation

    • What is Entrepreneurship?

    • Small Business and Entrepreneurship by E.C. Pasour

    • Entrepreneurship by Russell S. Sobel

    • The Heroic Entrepreneur

    • The Entrepreneur on the Heroic Journey by Dwight Lee and Candace Allen

  • 7


    • Let's Try More Economic Freedom, Not Less

    • Human Well-being (Revisited)

    • Most of the World is Better Off Than You Think

    • Social Cooperation (Revisited)

    • I, Pencil Extended Commentary: Connectivity by CEI

    • Personal Character (Revisited)

    • Economic Freedom & Quality of Life by EconFree

    • Happiness and Success

    • Economics in One Day Badge