Universal Economics

By Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen
Edited by Jerry L. Jordan


Universal Economics is a new work that bears a strong resemblance to its two predecessors, University Economics (1964, 1967, 1972) and Exchange and Production (1969, 1977, 1983). Collaborating again, Professors Alchian and Allen have written a fresh presentation of the analytical tools employed in the economic way of thinking.

More than any other principles textbook, Universal Economics develops the critical importance of property rights to the existence and success of market economies. The authors explain the interconnection between goods prices and productive-asset prices and how market-determined interest rates bring about the allocation of resources toward the satisfaction of consumption demands versus saving/investment priorities. They show how the crucial role of prices in a market economy cannot be well understood without a firm grasp of the role of money in a modern world. The Alchian and Allen application of information and search-cost analysis to the subject of money, price determination, and inflation is unique in the teaching of economic principles.

“No one has ever done price theory better than Alchian—that is, no one has ever excelled Alchian’s ability to explain the reason, role, and nuances of prices, of competition, and of property rights. And only a precious few—I can count them on my fingers—have a claim for being considered to have done price theory as well as he did it.” —Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University

Armen A. Alchian (1914–2013), one of the twentieth century’s great teachers of economic science, taught at UCLA from 1958 to 1984. Founder of the UCLA tradition in economics, he has become recognized as one of the most influential voices in the areas of market structure, property rights, and the theory of the firm.

William R. Allen taught at Washington University prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 1952. Along with research primarily in international economics and the history of economic theory, he has concentrated on teaching economics. Universal Economics is his third textbook collaboration with Armen Alchian.

Jerry L. Jordan wrote his doctoral dissertation under the direction of Armen Alchian. He was Dean of the School of Management at the University of New Mexico, a member of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors and of the U.S. Gold Commission, Director of Research of the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, and President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.


Alchianandallen 9780865979055 800h


Trim size: 6 x 9

Pages: 736

Publication date: June 2018