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Publisher's Summary

In Naked Economics, journalist Charles Wheelan does “the impossible”—he makes economic principles relevant, interesting and fun. Brimming with scores of down-to-earth examples and sprinkled with humorous anecdotes, this comprehensive overview will keep listeners smiling and wide awake.

©2002; 2010 Charles Wheelan (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“Gain an understanding of basic economics with little pain and much pleasure.” (Gary Becker, 1992 Nobel Prize winner in economics)
"This is a thoughtful, well-written introduction to economics, with the author projecting a genuine excitement for his material that makes it not quite so dismal." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

For econ class

Great way to learn about economics, this was an enjoyable way to learn an often dry subject

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Some useful info but a lot more dogma do-do

I've always found it sad that what passes under the term "economics" today is really neoclassical economics, a very unrealistic, ideological, and reductionist interpretation founded on some very problematic assumptions (rational agents who maximize their own personal utility ignoring contextual economic conditions, equilibrium conditions, methodological individualism, physics envy, Consumer Demand Theory, General Equilibrium Theory, instantaneous adjustments, etc.). Wheelan seems to uncritically accept a lot of this orthodox dogma.

1.) Rational agents can't be coerced into accepting available economic choices. Suppose you like a certain product (i.e. beef steak) but don't like how it's produced (i.e. by torturing the animal). To the neoclassical economist you have two choices, or voting on your economic options: you buy or you don't buy. To people living in the real world you could try to change the product. Wheelan simply makes the conclusion that if employees choose to work at a sweatshop then it must be what maximizes their utility so let's respect their choice.

2.) The myth of perfect taxes that doesn't cause "distortions." Actual preferences are usually labile and can adopt themselves to the available choices. Behavioral econ does a better job of explaining the sort of compartmentalized thinking people actually engage in.

3.) The successful must somehow have deserved their success since the free market efficiently allocates societal resources: There's a strange example given of how Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could recreate their wealth but that dropouts would have problems adjusting, ignoring the fact that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are university dropouts.

4.) There's fawning worship of economic experts with a lot of name-dropping and I was told that in the text version there was an unabashed lauding of Alan Greenspan as having done everything right with his "Greenspan put."

But there is some useful info offered: good explanations of real vs. nominal int...

25 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining and informative

This audiobook is my first read about economics. it was really great. The logic of the chapters, the great examples make it like listening to a novel narrated

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent beginner's guide to Econ

This is the perfect book for people learning to understand basic economic concepts- similar to the Undercover Economist. I would highly recommend this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 09-17-10

Better than average... for an economics book

Three and a half stars. This is a good introductory text to basic economic principles. It covers the standard areas that are traditionally covered without a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo. It has a lot of interesting stories describing the ideas presented. All of that said however it is still a basic economics text and it is hard to make that an interesting listen or read for most people.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Douglas
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 04-25-18

Very Valuable Intro to Econ

I struggle with the basics of economics, and this book deals with just that. This is an entertaining, enjoyable introduction to the subject. Even if you have a strong grasp on econ you may learn from this book. I'm talking specifically about some of the anecdotes and examples that Charles Wheelan gives in this work.

Kerin McCue isn't really special, but he's perfect for this subject. You may not be able to speed listen due to the nature of the topic, but it won't be because of McCue.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent Overview of Big Ideas

Offered a thought-provoking overview of some of the big ideas in modern economic thought.

Maybe lacked some nuance regarding local political situations in trade discussion.

But, maybe that's a topic for another book entirely.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good overview of Economics in a fun way

A simple and enjoyable way to begin to understand economics and why it is important.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This books makes Econ incredibly interesting!

Great intro to the economic principles that shape the world around us. Totally eye-opening.

This is going onto my list of favorite books for sure!

PS - The narrator is excellent!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

everyone should read and understand this book!

if everyone could read and understand what is in this book, the world would be a different place. people would make decisions that would be better for them, they would elect public officials who would make smarter decisions, people would understand the potential implications of their actions more fully.