Customer Reviews


25 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
Popular economics writing does not get any better than this. In a dozen somewhat independent chapters, journalist Wheelan presents "Economics 101" in a readable, objective, and delightful manner. Employing basic concepts and assumptions, such as choices, incentives, tradeoffs, prices, costs, and the economics of information, Wheelan cuts a large swath though...
Published on April 17 2004 by B. Viberg

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Should include more about thinking like an economist
This introduction to economics is a good overview of the subject, but it has its flaws. I believe that an important goal of a nontechnical book on economics is to communicate how economists think, primarily to counter news reports and other descriptions of economic matters that tend to be brimming with inaccuracies and misunderstandings of the most basic principles of...
Published on March 13 2003


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, April 17 2004
By 
B. Viberg "Alex Rodriguez" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Popular economics writing does not get any better than this. In a dozen somewhat independent chapters, journalist Wheelan presents "Economics 101" in a readable, objective, and delightful manner. Employing basic concepts and assumptions, such as choices, incentives, tradeoffs, prices, costs, and the economics of information, Wheelan cuts a large swath though contemporary microeconomic and macroeconomic issues, controversies, and fallacies. (He sneaks in more sophisticated theoretical points and jargon, e.g., externalities and the prisoner's dilemma, but in interesting, informative ways.) Topics include environmental problems, health care and insurance, risk and safety, education and productivity, the Federal Reserve System and monetary policy, financial markets and capital, inflation and unemployment, international trade and globalization, income and wealth inequalities, and economic development. Using anecdotes and applications galore, Wheelan treats both the power of markets and the role of government in a market economy (including special interest groups and the politics of economics). Devoid of graphs and mathematical equations (but not documentation), this book is quite simply a terrific, much-needed addition to the economics literature for intelligent general readers and must-reading for the media, government officials at all levels, and those who cast ballots and attempt to influence public policy. Highly recommended for general readers, lower- and upper-division undergraduates, and professionals.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read That Met All of My Criteria!, Dec 29 2003
By 
J. Zelenski (Lakewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Wheelan has done what no one else seems to have been able to do: write a non-technical economics book that avoids the fatal flaws of many others in the genre, presents all of the major areas of economics, does not insult the adult learner, and keeps the reader's attention from cover to cover. As an economics instructor at the principles through graduate level, I've searched high and low for such a book, and finally found in "Naked Economics" one that passes all of my screens. First, there are no graphs or formulas. Yet Wheelan has been able to capture virtually all of the basic lessons that are found in entry-level econ texts. The book covers micro, macro, monetary, labor and global economics. There are a number of fine non-technical econ. books on the market that focus on microeconomics (David Friedman, "Hidden Order" being one example), but have little to say about macro-, monetary or international economics, except in passing. Also, Wheelan offers brief but sound economic advice on personal investing. Thirdly, the book is politically well balanced. Neither the right nor the left get off scott-free, as Wheelan picks apart each side's weaknesses yet gives credit where sound economics supports a particular position. This aspect alone leaves it head and shoulders above its competitors, which in many cases are more polemics than economics. Wheelan is an economic journalist with a Ph.D., and happily, it shows. He weaves economic lessons with daily life and world events so smoothly that the reader is unaware that he or she has been learning the dismal science. Economics text writers can take a lesson from him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction into economics, Oct. 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
This book is perfect for those with little understanding of economics. The author does a fine job of using humor to convey economic theory. He also provides much historic evidence to demonstrate various economic principles discussed in the book. There are plenty of books which serve as an intrduction to economics, this book however stands out because it is such an easy read. I recomend this book to anyone looking for a book to provide them with a basic understanding of economics without the work. Although he seems to have more of a neo-liberal approach to economics, I'm impressed that praises libertarian thinkers such as Friedman and Gary Becker as well as more keynesian type economists such as Krugman and Ackerlof. Most books on economists lack this balance.
I think the author should have spent more time discussing supply side economics. He briefly discusses the laffer curve but immediately dismisses it as a failure. If you closely examine the Reagan tax cuts you will find the national deficit was caused by spending, not the tax cuts. The heavy tax cuts did not increase federal revenue but did stimulate the economy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A primer in �the big picture�, July 19 2003
By 
J. Straub (Cleveland Heights, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
For those that have not yet had the chance to be exposed to or do not completely understand the fundamental principals that govern the world's economy, Naked Economics presents simply, elegantly and with numerous examples, the basic principals which can cause an economic explosion to turn into a depression or vice-versa. Though, as Wheelan states a number of times through the book, economics may not have all of the answers, it can certainly help us understand what the right questions to be asking in a particular situation are.
The book explains important economic concepts such as externalities (when a person or group does not pay fully for the economic, social, etc. costs of their actions) and resource valuation, but more importantly applies them to real-world situations (why is Bill Gates' house bigger then mine?; why do pour countries seem to get pourer?)
The book is written as a dialog between author and writer and avoids confusing matters by presenting equations and charts. Instead, concepts are explained and applied making the book accessible to those with virtually no knowledge of economics.
If you are interested in knowing more about economics and how it effects the world around you or if you need a bigger-picture overview to help with understanding specific areas of economic study, this book is for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Should include more about thinking like an economist, March 13 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
This introduction to economics is a good overview of the subject, but it has its flaws. I believe that an important goal of a nontechnical book on economics is to communicate how economists think, primarily to counter news reports and other descriptions of economic matters that tend to be brimming with inaccuracies and misunderstandings of the most basic principles of economics.
The two chapters on the positive role of government in the economy are probably the best in the book. Wheelan effectively describes the many scenarios where market economics simply fails to provide the proper incentives for mutually beneficial activity. This part of the book is a nice contrast to some other economics books that sometimes seem as if they were ghost written by the Libertarian party.
However, the text, even in those two chapters, includes several statements presented as undisputed fact but which are actually open to substantial debate.
Early on, the book claims that "cigarette smoke can .. harm those who happen to be lingering nearby" without mentioning that little evidence of actual physical harm from secondhand smoke is available. However, the next paragraph does make the nice point that cigarette smokers do perform good for the rest of us: they die quicker, generally after a full working life but before collecting much Social Security. Maybe it would be a fair exchange for nonsmokers to breathe a little annoying second-hand smoke in exchange for the larger old age payments that come courtesy of the nicotine addicts among us.
Later, Wheelan says about drug couriers, "It's good to have goverment officials blocking the road when the 'entrepreneur' is carrying seven kilos of cocaine" but presents absolutely no argument as to why this is true. Many economists would feel that it is the government that should be blocked from interfering in the cocaine market. This would almost surely include the economist mentioned a mere two sentences later, Milton Friedman, who has long made clear his opposition to drug prohibition.
Finally, it is asserted without evidence that, compared to a sports car, "a college education makes a young person more productive for the rest of his or her life." I'm not sure that's true all or even most of the time. While I guess that most students learn something in college, it is also true that many college students spend substantial time, effort, and money on things like parties, sports, clubs, and other similar activities that probably don't provide a productivity benefit later, but that are simply a hell of a lot of fun.
This may sound like I'm favoring sports car-driving, cigarette smoking drug dealers over law-abiding, non-smoking college students but that's not my point. I simply mean that it would have been better had the author pointed out some of these nuances because it would help readers to think more like an economist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars from foggy economics to naked common sense, Feb. 9 2003
By 
if (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
I've never opened an economics book with so much enthusiasm...after an hour of reading, I wondered to myself what was the use of my high school and first & second year university level economics courses! Why do they have to make concepts so simple and common sensical extremely complicated and overly theoretical? I certainly hope not that the only underlying reason is to weed students out of their educational system. It is so true that too many academians out there don't have much talent in writing to interest rather than bore and confuse. Don't get me wrong, these authors are all very educated and well-informed, much more than I ever will be. University professors and high school teachers are just as bad communicators who don't deliver the message effectively. I am now keenly searching for Naked Finance, Naked Accounting, Naked Statistics, etc.... to reinforce my concepts of these topics in business that are scattered all over the place. As they say, common sense is what is lacking most in this world...and this author brings it out well to us the readers. Applause to such great works! Charles Wheelan, will you write an Naked Economics II or something similiar to that about economics at a more intermediate level? I always knew I have something for this subject which intrigued me a lot, in which my textbooks could do nothing but fog my understanding.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A good explanation of a "foreign language", but..., Oct. 13 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
First, I'd like to say that this book MOSTLY does what author Wheelan set out to do -- to make the science of economics understandable and exciting to the average person without an advanced math degree. Wheelan does that, for the most part. He uses real-world (and recent) examples to illustrate economic principles. The first third of the book, I could not put it down.
The only thing really that bothered me (and it is throughout the book, so I had to ding it two stars) is that the author mixes political views of people and issues that I think have no business being in an economics book. For example, he mentions having caddied on the golf course, notably for George W. Bush, "before he became the mature leader he is today." I don't begrudge him his right to his opinion, but where does that comment belong in a book explaining economics? There are a number of people who question the maturity level of Bill Clinton, but I would not put that in an economics book! You would I think if Wheelan would have tried a little harder to be evenhanded -- certainly there are things to criticize on each side, but can we please leave the personal attacks out of it? -- I would have enjoyed the book more.
Still, the book is good at explaining something I have always regarded as a foreign language.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction, Oct. 26 2003
By 
Wyote (a planet rich in iron and water) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Naked Economics (Paperback)
Economics is yet another field in which everyone has an opinion, and like (well, you know). But there is a substantial body of knowledge out there, and there is no reason for us (especially, us as voters) to be ignorant of it.
This could be read in every intro to econ class.
If you're a reader of Krugman's articles and books, but you feel like sometimes you don't really understand what he says, this will be a great book for you. Or if you just don't know about economics, this will be a great book for you.
(But after you read this book, I also recommend Krugman's writing. This book is the bird's eye view of economics, while Krugman looks at a few things in more detail.)
How does the Fed target interest rates and control money supply? I'd wondered this for quite a while, and here I got a straight answer to it.
It's recommended by several economics nobel prize winners, so its content must be solid.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wheelan turned econ. concepts into a book for the beach, Oct. 12 2002
By 
Jacob A. Walker (Charlestown, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
As an undergraduate, I used to find topics for potential areas for research papers from the Economist's Economics Focus section. For those uninitiated, the once-a-week, one page explinations the repetitive column provides are excellent, cursory introductions to complex economic topics, usually spawned from new research in the dismal science.
That said, Wheelan has taken that concept and spread it out over a fast-reading, entertaining 236 page book. Basic economic concepts and more complex and modern research are explained with vigor and enthusiasm. The book features no charts, functions, formulas or graphs. Nonetheless, it would prove a much better textbook for a High School or undergraduate Intro to Economics course. Better yet, it serves as an excellent review for those already initiated to the field.
Highly reccomended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars very good, Nov. 25 2002
This review is from: Naked Economics (Hardcover)
This is a very good introduction to economics. The only criticism I have is that in teaching the reader to "think like an economist," Wheelan literally thinks *exclusively* like an economist.
For instance, Wheelan asserts spraying DDT, thus eliminating pests, can be good in some instances because the costs (pollution) outweigh the benefits (better economic benefits in the long run leading to reduced pollution levels eventually). Organisms, however, are notorious for building resistance, as evident with the fruit fly population explosions and the failures of modern antiboitics to keep up with the new bacterias. Taking an economic approach, an ignoring an evolutionary one, can be dangerous indeed.
Despite, this book is very good and well written and is highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Naked Economics
Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan (Paperback - Aug. 26 2003)
CDN$ 20.00 CDN$ 10.63
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews