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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

For econ class

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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...

24 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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

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  • Story

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
  • 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

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  • Story

A good overview of Economics in a fun way

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

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  • Story

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!

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  • Performance
  • Story

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.

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  • Story

Good and broad explanations about basic economics.

Although the book is about basic economics, it offers much more than most of politicians understand, including presidents. It would be helpful if we could bring our entire society to the level of this book, such that we would stop debating about facts like the benefits of globalization, and focus our attention to real problems like inequalities and budget responsibility.

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  • Story

Excellent overview and introduction

Great narration and interesting stories make this a worthy read for an excellent overview and introduction to complex economic terminologies and concepts.