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Naked Economics

Undressing the Dismal Science
Written by: Charles Wheelan
Narrated by: Kerin McCue
Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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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

What the critics say

“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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great book

a very interesting book written by a great writer. Simple, informative, and fun to listen to, I highly recommend it...

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nooie
  • 2016-11-28

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
  • anonymous
  • 2011-06-07

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...

31 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David F.
  • Fairfield, CT, United States
  • 2016-09-05

A really interesting view of economics

The author sets out to make economics more interesting than the boring stuff that many of us were subjected to during ECON 101. If you have any interest in world affairs, popular opinion or how economic ideas work together (or don't) this is worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-08-29

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 2015-03-06

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
  • 2010-09-17

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
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-15

Partisan conservative. Also dated.

It was just too one sided and conservative. Dissapointingly oversimplified. Economics is complex and interesting. The book isnt.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 2019-10-03

Great read, highly recommend.

It took me awhile to spread out the listening because the material makes you think, especially in some chapters. But that's great, because it's very informative and provides a nice foundation for economics. Thanks you.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-28

Economics at its best!

This book is truly a marvelous introduction into the world of economics. Rather you were a long time student of economics someone just entering out of curiosity or just a curious reader this book will answer many of your questions. I cannot recommend it enough!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-21

good unbiased book on economics.

good unbiased book on economics. pretty basic, but we'll done with good examples and relevant situations