• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.


Build the Open Shelves Classification

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Feb 23, 2009, 12:01pm Top

Includes works on the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services from an economic theory perspective.

Feb 23, 2009, 6:35pm Top

I would love to help work on the subcategories within the Economics section. We might find it useful to look at the JEL (Journal of Economic Literature) Classification Codes. They can be found here:

However, I'm not so sure how well an academic subdivision of economics would work for a public library.

Later tonight I will take a stab at an initial list of subcategories unless somebody gets to it first. :-)

Feb 23, 2009, 11:51pm Top

Here is a very rough and likely incomplete list of some possible subcategories of economics:

* General
* Microeconomic Theory
* Macroeconomic and Monetary Theory
* International Economics
* Public Economics
* Labor Economics
* Financial Economics
* Resource Economics
* Environmental Economics
* Law and Economics
* Industrial Organization
* Econometrics and Mathematical Methods of Economics
* Game Theory
* History of Economic Thought
* Economic History
* Economic Development and Growth

Feb 24, 2009, 12:52am Top

Most non-Austrian economics belongs under "fiction"...or perhaps "religion", or wherever the books on magic and such belong :)

Feb 24, 2009, 3:53am Top

Most Austrian economics belongs under "fiction"...or perhaps "religion", or wherever the books on magic and such belong.

I fixed your typo for you.

Feb 24, 2009, 4:15am Top

Shouldn't "economic history" go under "history"? Sure, I know it's also taught at economics faculties, but it's still pretty mainstream history - just looking more at cabbages than at kings ;-)

Feb 24, 2009, 10:25am Top

@6: I'm not sure where I would expect to find "economic history" or the "history of economic thought." I suppose that history makes more sense for the former at least.

4,5: I fixed both of your typos:
Most economics belongs under "fiction"...or perhaps "religion", or wherever the books on magic and such belong.

Mar 2, 2009, 12:13am Top


What is non-Austrian economics? Keynes? Adam Smith?

Mar 2, 2009, 1:32am Top

Keynes goes without saying. Economics that isn't based on correct methodology, even if (unlike Keynes) it happens to come up with the right answers sometimes. Same goes for "physics" or "chemistry" that isn't based on correct methodology (such as "magic" and "intelligent design").

Mar 2, 2009, 9:39am Top

Bleh. I suppose flame-baiting can't be avoided even on LT.

Either way, I think it is a clear that having economics organized by "School of Thought" would confuse just about anyone who tried to browse it for books let alone for those who have to put the books in the categories.

I am unfamiliar with the stock of economics books that most public library hold. It might be interesting for someone with a bit more knowledge of the needs of public libraries to comment on the subdivision I have offered or make a new (better) subdivision.

Mar 2, 2009, 7:24pm Top

Addendum to 10, I am not categorically against "Schools of thought" as an organizing principle. I think that "Schools of Thought" could be a useful organizing principle at the third or forth level where it is appropriate. I'm not sure how useful this would be in terms of actual browsing, but it is certainly an option.

Mar 2, 2009, 9:45pm Top

Seriously, suggesting that beliefs in magic and ID are not based on real science is "flame-baiting"?

(And I wasn't suggesting "schools of thought" as an organizing principle anyway)

Mar 2, 2009, 10:12pm Top

12. Flame-baiting is strong and apologize for the harshness. However, answering the question with "What is non-Austrian economics?" with "Economics that isn't based on correct methodology.." on a thread that is likely to be read by people with more than a bit of formal training in such "magic" doesn't exactly promote discussion about the actual topic at hand. I am easily as critical of non-Austrian economics as most Austrian economists I've read. However, the characterize the efforts of such economists as akin to proponents of "intelligent design" is a bit unfair.

Once again I apologize for the user of "flame-baiting" which I suppose is itself a flame-bait of sorts.

And now for something on topic:

While you weren't suggesting "School of Thought" as an organizing principle, the more I think about it, the more I think it could be really useful in certain categories--specifically microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory. The problem is I'm not sure how kosher it would be to have different organizing principles on the third level (I'm not sure "School of thought" would work as a subcategory of "Econometrics and Mathematical Methods").

Also, I realized that "Behavioral Economics" should probably be a top-level category.

Mar 3, 2009, 4:39pm Top

I've created a wiki page for this sub-category that summarizes what has been discussed thus far on the thread. While this is a bit of overkill at the moment, hopefully it will help us keep track of what people have suggested and what the areas of current consensus are when this thread gets larger. The wiki page is here:


Mar 4, 2009, 9:08pm Top

I'd love to see rule of thumb definitions for the second level categories, particularly macroeconomics, and international economics. I'm a dilettante, so how would I know to put a book under international econ instead of macro? Is there much in the way of macroeconomics that doesn't deal with trade anymore?

Mar 4, 2009, 10:28pm Top

Yeah. When posting them to the wiki I noticed the macro/international econ issues as well as some other issues where it would be unclear what would go where. I'll think up some 'scope notes' and post a revised list. I'd love to get a few more suggested lists in here so we could get a different perspective.

Mar 4, 2009, 11:56pm Top

Here are a few other issues I have with my proposed schedule:

1) Should International Economics simply be a subcategory of Macroeconomics? I think that there is a good case for it being it's own category if academic libraries were the focus, but I'm unsure if the differences will be relevant in a public library.
2) Should Industrial Organization be a subcategories of Microeconomics?
3) Where would studies of economic systems in general go?
4) Does this accurately represent what type of division public libraries need or will the libraries find themselves using the General category for nearly all their books?

Mar 5, 2009, 6:59am Top

I can't see any decently large library lumping everything economics together. They are going to at least split stuff into macro and micro. I'd think that most of those categories are relevant.

I'd put studies of economic systems under economic history actually (not history of economic thought obviously), at least with that grouping. Or perhaps a separate category. The thing is, study of economic systems is going to be tied very closely with study of political systems and that's gonna mostly go under categories in politics.

Mar 5, 2009, 10:18am Top

Here is a revised list. I've added some explanation to a few of the categories that I hope clarifies what I was thinking. I've also written some notes about the changes I've made and possible future changes.

* General
* Microeconomic Theory: Books relating to microeconomic theory, including introductory textbooks on the subject. Books concerning applied topics of microeconomics should only be placed here if there is no other suitable category (Industrial Organization, Public Economics, Labor Economics, etc).
* Macroeconomic and Monetary Theory: Books relating to the performance of economic aggregates such as the price level and output. Texts dealing specifically with open economy macro or regional studies should be placed under International Economics. Texts dealing specifically with economic development should be placed under Economic Development and Growth.
* International Economics : Books relating to open economy macroeconomics, issues related to trade and international finance, and trade policy. This section would also include studies of regions and economic unions.
* Economic Development and Growth
* Industrial Organization
* Public Economics
* Labor Economics
* Behavioral Economics
* Environmental and Resource Economics
* Financial Economics
* Law and Economics
* Economic Systems and Political Economy: Books related to the study of economics systems (capitalism, communism, etc) as a whole and political institutions.
* Econometrics and Mathematical Methods of Economics
* Game Theory: Texts related specifically to game theory should go here. Broader micro texts that include game theory should go in Mircroeconomic Theory.
* History of Economic Thought
* (Economic History)

1) It has been suggested that economic histories be placed under history. However, I'm not sure about this. If I wanted a book about the Economic History of the United States since 1850 I think it might make more sense to have such a book under economics. However, if every field did this, the only thing left in the History section would be more general histories.

2) I have made Resource Economics and Environmental Economics one category.

3) I added an Economics Systems and Political Economy section. I think it makes more sense for books like Capitalism and Freedom to go under here rather than Economic History.

4) I added Behavioral Economics.

5) Currently this scheme has a number of the more popular 'applied micro' topics as second-level categories. Maybe it would make more sense to have these as subcategories of an "Applied Microeconomics" second-level category. This would allow the system to account for topics such as Health Economics. However, in some categories, we would then have a struggle as to where topics such as the macroeconomics of labor markets would be placed. The JEL classification codes would place these under macroeconomics; I'm not sure if we want to do the same.

Mar 20, 2009, 10:50am Top

Please check out this thread (http://www.librarything.com/topic/60594) for a link to the new OSC blog and a call for specific volunteer involvement. Thanks!

Mar 24, 2009, 9:48am Top

I've volunteered to be the 'steward' for this category. As is clear in the post about this, it simply means that I will monitor the discussion and post, try to prod conversation, and post any consensus that develops to the blog.

May 10, 2009, 12:53am Top

I am new to LibraryThing. In my old-age, I have become very interested in Economic History and have been a member of the the Economic History Society for the past 7 years. Authors in this area might include Richard Pares, Simon Smith, Thomas Ashton, for example. I got interested (don't laugh) through my stamp collection, which has turned into a collection of historical correspondence. Specifically I have a fair size collection of business letters relating to a business in Whitehaven England and their sugar estates in Antigua. I would say that economic history deals with finance and commerce in specific time periods.
This is my first post and I guess that I am announcing my presence. I hope to be helpful in the future.

May 10, 2009, 6:19pm Top

# 22

Welcome to LT. This is all part of an effort to see if LT could come up with a better classification system than what one has with Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, or more or less standard categories one finds in bookstores. Maybe, we're trying to combine the best of each. So, some of us have chimed in various degrees in different categories. In some categories, there are those who feel very passionate.

Oct 12, 2010, 10:49pm Top

I suggest adding a category on Information and Expectations Formation.


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,440,982 books! | Top bar: Always visible