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Economics For Dummies Paperback – March 25, 2011

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From the Back Cover

Grasp the history, principles, theories, and terminology of economics

Want to know more about the recent financial crisis and the steps taken to repair it? Packed with information and relevant new examples from today's economy, this updated, best-selling guide gives you a straightforward, easy-to-grasp understanding of how the economy functions — and how it influences personal finances.

  • The science of scarcity — discover how economics is all about scarcity, and how it forces people to make tradeoffs for desired goods and services

  • Oh, behave! — learn about theories on behavior (micro-economics) to better understand what motivates a firm to produce a given output, and how buyers and sellers interact in markets to distribute that output

  • Put it to the test — find out how to apply theories onmicroeconomics to shed light on real-world scenarios, likethe high cost of health insurance, why it's so hard to find aquality used car, and much more

  • Get the big picture — take a look at the economy from the top (macroeconomics) to find out how economic growth andstability is dealt with at national and international levels

Open the book and find:

  • How the government fightsrecessions and unemployment

  • Why international trade is good for nations (and individuals)

  • What's behind the goods andservices you might take for granted

  • Reasons monopolies are bad

  • Who is controlling your money (and inflation)

  • Policies that can cause more harm than good

  • How the simple "supply anddemand" model easily explains the price of everything

  • The effects of taxation on society

Learn to:

  • Decipher consumer behavior

  • Use the model of supply and demand

  • Identify factors that lead to inflation

  • Understand fiscal and monetary policies

About the Author

Sean Flynn, PhD, is an assistant professor of economics at Scripps College in Claremont, California. He is an active resource on the topic of economics in both the academic community and the media. He has been a guest expert on NPR and has been interviewed for articles on

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470879483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470879481
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By DACHokie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having accumulated several of the "for Dummies" books over the years, I find that they offer a great base knowledge of information on a wide variety of subjects and are very useful as a reference. That being said, some topics are a little too "meaty" to simplify so easily ... and I would have to include economics as one of those topics.

Although a business management degree required me to take several courses in economics over 20 years ago, I was well aware then that the subject matter was far more complex and deep than any of the overview courses I took. Needless to say, only the most basic economic principles have stuck with me over the years. Fast forward to today, with the economy being such an important issue in our lives, and ECONOMICS FOR DUMMIES seemed logical as both a refresher course and a reference. While I thought the presentation of economic s was as good as any of the "for Dummies" books, I quickly understood the reason I never retained the old college course material in the first place ... the subject matter is simply tedious. Face it, economics is a specialized and involved field of study that requires an attention span of more than a passing interest. In other words, economics is not for dummies at all.

What I like about ECONOMICS FOR DUMMIES is the standard "Dummies" format with the icons in the margins that allows the reader to distinguish what material is important to remember from the material that is superfluous. There are plenty of real-life scenarios presented to further illustrate the various economic concepts. What gets complicated is that the foundation of basic principles is compounded by so many intervening variables that the material may quickly overwhelm a reader.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Burns VINE VOICE on May 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Had I read Economics for Dummies before I took the Econ 101, the class would have made much more sense. I finally understand how the government puts money into the economy, why many stimulus measures may not work at all, and the futility of price supports. While my huge Econ textbook contained arcane terms and copious footnotes, it's nice to know that the basic concepts of economics depend on neither of these. I suspect the author of having conservative leanings, and I suspect that some of his arguments are either oversimplified or have another side not presented here, but for the modest price of this book, I certainly gained insight for evaluating the political fray which is currently taking place and really obtained more useful information than I gained in the $1,000 class. (This book was provided to me by the Amazon Vine program, but I also bought a copy for my Kindle; every time I had a moment to read the free copy, I found it in my husband's hands! Oh, by the way, much as I love my Kindle, this is not a good book to read there. Increasing the type size does not increase the size of the formulas, leaving them very difficult to read.)
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Gintis on September 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will actually discuss three books in this review. All are books on self-learning of economic theory for serious beginners.

Sean Flynn, Economics For Dummies (Wiley, 2011)
Tom Gorman, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics (Penguin, 2003)
Steve Slavin, Economics: A Self-Teaching Guide (Wiley, 1999)

People often ask me what to read to learn the type of basic economic theory that is taught in university graduate and undergraduate courses. This is somewhat difficult because most writers for the general public have some sort of political axe to grind and present a one-sided version of the theory, or a complete alternative to the theory. I have nothing against such writers, but I will always suggest that readers also/instead of/before reading these political pleadings, find out what the general "received wisdom" is.

It may seem that there is no "received wisdom" that is shared by most economists, but this is not the case. Except in the area of macroeconomic policy, there are few disagreements. In the macroeconomic area, the standard models are pretty awful, but economic policy types have deeper problems: general models can show you the general direction of effects, but when there are offsetting directions, only quantitative evidence can supply a credible answer. For instance, increasing government expenditure to lower the unemployment rate may be offset by the effects of government debt on interest, inflation, and growth rates. Only careful attention to details can determine the net effect of the policy, and even this is subject to significant error. However, you cannot even begin to assess economic policy seriously unless you know basic economic theory.

The books reviewed here are basic starting points for gaining a facility in economic theory.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Powell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I picked this book up because I'm constantly barraged by the media and politicians on their political takes of the economy. Democrats believe that bottom up works and republicans believe in supply side. I wanted to get away from the power driven hype and reestablish the sliver of knowledge gained in my college micro and macro course study.

My verdict? Certainly this book takes you back to school and requires some dedication to obtaining its concepts. I was expecting more of a high level approach but found that it's significantly detailed in concepts with charts, graphs, and formulae. It's not a casual read and I will admit to skipping to topics of interest to prevent being overwhelmed by topics i didn't have relative references to. I find now that I use it as a reference to topics to better understand what I run into. QE2 is no longer a ship to me.

i did like the end of the book in which the author covered the bubble and financial crisis. He does so without coloring it with politics and evenly details aspects that impacted the crisis. It's no longer effective to just demonize Wall Street, Main Street or the Government. All three's impacts were reviewed in a way that helps understand without pushing a bias. Good book, I'd recommend it. If your ego won't let you carry a dummies' book, get the Kindle version :)
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