Brushing up on your Economics

by Emily on October 17, 2011

Two popular movies that have come out this year discuss economics. You might have seen these movies, but may have not understood the economics behind them. Too Big To Fail is a HBO made for TV movie based on the book by Andrew Ross Sorkin about the financial crisis of 2008. Moneyball is a film based on Michael Lewis 2003 book with the same title. The movie Moneyball is truly about the economics of baseball while Too Big to Fail explains the financial crisis in terms and depictions that the average person can understand. You may know always know that economics is involved in your favorite TV show or movie, but its everywhere and there are some books you can read that will help simplify the complex topic for you.

Freakonomics is a book that was published in 2005 by the economist Steven D, Levitt and author Stephen J. Dubner. The book breaks down economics into common scenarios that everyone can understand. The book aims to show readers that there is economics everywhere and in everything. The book is a light, quick read that injects humor into the sometimes dry topic of economics. The book was so popular that the authors followed up with a second novel in 2009 called Superfreakononics and an illustrated edition of Superfreakonomics in 2010 followed. Both books discuss scenarios such as the inner workings of a crack selling operation, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, how much do parents really matter, does your name matter in terms of success, which is more dangerous driving drunk or walking drunk and the pay rate of prostitutes in Chicago. This book will intrigue you and can lead you to start great conversations at dinner parties.

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science is a 2002 book by Charles Wheelen. This book is a nontextbook textbook which explains complicated economic terms in a simple manner. The book does not use math, but rather words and descriptions to make the subject accessible to everyday readers. The author uses familiar examples such as the price of sweatshirts at the Gap. The author will help you understand basic to more complex economic concepts, the market, government role in economy, human capitalization and globalization. The book can help you get a grasp on economic terms and give you a working base knowledge of the economy.

Two economics books by Steven E. Landsburg are also entertaining reads on the subject. The first Armchair Economist, Economics & Everyday life, published in 1993 and the second book More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics published in 2007 are both provocative and funny essays on the United States economy. In his books, he tries to convey to the reader that economics is not the the study of money, it is rather the study of value. You may not always agree with the authors views in these books, but each chapter is thought provoking and will get you thinking as well as entertain you.

By familiarizing yourself with basic to more complex economic concept you will be better able to understand what is going on in today’s economic climate. You will start to see and appreciate economic concepts in everyday life. You can learn from these books, and use the type of value based thinking discussed by these authors to help you make financial decisions in your life.

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