The AER recently posted a list of the top 20 articles published during its first 100 years of existence. I’ve read many of them and presented a few. Modigliani and Miller’s classic 1958 paper on corporate finance is a personal favorite. They also listed Hayek’s Use of Knowledge in Society which was the subject of discussion at a recent conference. All the articles are fascinating, although most require a bit of mathematical facility. These lists are always somewhat arbitrary, but one could certainly find a worse way of learning some of Economics’ great insights over the past century.