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Economics 101 : Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
Old 05-09-2012, 10:02 AM   #1
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Economics 101 : Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan

Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan is an amazingly well written books on the basics of economics using a USA based frame of reference & real life as illustration. There are NO figures or charts in the entire book.

Wheelan covers basics like markets, incentives, government, impact of information (or lack thereof), productivity, metrics, international trade & globalization, the fed, interest groups, problems in developing nations etc. His writing style is easy-going, but the information is not dumbed-down.

I took my one and only economics course some 30+ years ago and this was a good refresher.

Read any good books on economics for the lay-person lately?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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I loved that book!
I just finished a couple of economics/behavioral finance books, a favorite area of research for me.
I can recommend the Freakonomics & Superfreakonomics books by Dubner and Leavitt.
Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow
Abundance by Peter Diamandis
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Richard Thaler's Nudge
Gary Belsky's Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

I have on hold at the library Identity Economics by George Akerlof as well.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I loved that book!
I just finished a couple of economics/behavioral finance books, a favorite area of research for me.
I can recommend the Freakonomics & Superfreakonomics books by Dubner and Leavitt.
Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow
Abundance by Peter Diamandis
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Richard Thaler's Nudge
Gary Belsky's Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

I have on hold at the library Identity Economics by George Akerlof as well.
I'm reading Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow now and it is fascinating.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Freakonomics by Dubner and Leavitt.
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
I loved these two in particular...
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
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Oh, and not directly related to economics, but I'm reading a library copy of Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit on my iPad right now. It is another fascinating one. I also heard a podcast review of it from the Economist that was very favorable. Great examples included!
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
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Oh, and not directly related to economics, but I'm reading a library copy of Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit on my iPad right now. It is another fascinating one. I also heard a podcast review of it from the Economist that was very favorable. Great examples included!
I enjoyed The Power of Habit too. Printed out the summary as a reminder.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I loved that book!
I just finished a couple of economics/behavioral finance books, a favorite area of research for me.
I can recommend the Freakonomics & Superfreakonomics books by Dubner and Leavitt.
Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow
Abundance by Peter Diamandis
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Richard Thaler's Nudge
Gary Belsky's Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

I have on hold at the library Identity Economics by George Akerlof as well.
Thanks for the recommendations. I loved Predictably Irrational. Ariely wrote a follow-on to that book that I have on my list. I also need to read Kahneman & Thaler - they are referred to very often in other books.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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Walkin, another author in the same arena who is often quoted by these authors is Martin Seligman, whose Authentic Happiness was excellent. He's mentioned in the Duhigg book.
Again, not necessarily economics, but certainly about motivation and what drives people's behavior, financial and otherwise.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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Walkin, another author in the same arena who is often quoted by these authors is Martin Seligman, whose Authentic Happiness was excellent. He's mentioned in the Duhigg book.
Again, not necessarily economics, but certainly about motivation and what drives people's behavior, financial and otherwise.
Thanks. I like him going back to his Learned Optimism. Daniel Gilbert's excellent Stumbling on Happiness is, suitably, the book that got me started in this area.

Martin Seligman has an interesting site
:: Authentic Happiness :: Using the new Positive Psychology
Check out the questionnaires.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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Economics with no figures and charts? Hum, sounds interesting.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #11
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What's next? Economics without math?
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:06 AM   #12
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What's next? Economics without math?
Given the mess made by economists using math, economics without math might be an improvement.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:52 AM   #13
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What's next? Economics without math?
The burgeoning fields of behavioral economics and complexity economics. Interesting reading if nothing else, frankly I think they have a place. With sincere apologies to Milton Friedman (my Econ idol years ago), the 'invisible hand' doesn't always work, even Adam Smith acknowledged same...
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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I will not post a link to the website and it may no longer be free, but the "Crash Course" by Chris Martinson is a must read for lay people! Unless you are a "Gun's & Gold" type I would not bother to subscribe to it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
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What's next? Economics without math?
That would be the Austrian School of economics. No, really.

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/...Economics.html
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Austrian economists do not use mathematics in their analyses or theories because they do not think mathematics can capture the complex reality of human action. They believe that as people act, change occurs, and that quantifiable relationships are applicable only when there is no change. Mathematics can capture what has taken place, but can never capture what will take place.
The pure Austrian economics is more of an abstract philosophy than anything else. Measurement of groups is not acceptable, as only individual behavior matters, and measurement of individuals necessarily interacts with the individual, inevitably corrupting the individual's economic activity and thus invalidating the measurement. Since measurements cannot be made, and aggregate activity cannot be considered, there is no basis for economic forecasting.

It's an interesting school, in that the Austrians have attempted to derive an economic model from philosophical first principles (alas, still rife with hidden assumptions; it's no Principia Mathematica), and discuss the relative success or failure of real world economies in terms of deviation from these principles. Oddly enough, arguments often rely on measurements over groups of participants in comparing economies...
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:22 PM   #16
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Another vote for the Freakonomics series although one of the economists at w*rk didn't care for the conclusions.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:40 PM   #17
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Not economics related but behavior related, and if you liked the Kahnemann and Ariely books you may enjoy "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" by Richard Davidson and Sharon Begley.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #18
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What would Paul Samuelson think! He got a Nobel prize for applying math to economics.

I remember an econ class at university. Graphs were a difficult concept for them.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:20 PM   #19
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I am reading, "Lords of Finance the Bankers Who Broke the World" by Liaquat Ahamed. It begins in the late 1920's.

I also have, "The Shock Doctine" by Naomi Klein. I have not started this yet.
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