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Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics Paperback – May 14, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Economics and Finance (May 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804791716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804791717
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Homer Economicus quenches your thirst for learning like a Duff beer. The reader, through the lens of The Simpsons, will learn more about economics is a few hours than any textbook can possibly teach. My advice is that you kick back, put your feet up at your desk and enjoy a donut or two while you read this fascinating collection. Mmm."—G. Dirk Mateer, Senior Lecturer, University of Kentucky


"Homer Economicus in action! The Simpsons is an excellent window onto the world of economics, and this book shows you how and why."—Tyler Cowen, George Mason University, blogger at The Marginal Revolution, and author of Discover Your Inner Economist

About the Author

Joshua C. Hall is Associate Professor of Economics at West Virginia University. Formerly an Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, he is a co-author of the widely-cited Economic Freedom of the World reports and author of over 50 articles in journals. Hall has taught principles of microeconomics throughout his career.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vasyl Markus on July 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a decent supplement to understanding microeconomic principles, but don't rely on it as your only explanation of economics.

It's been a while since I took a course in economics, and this book provided a decent overview of some of the principles. However, the chapters are a bit uneven. Moreover, a few of them definitely presented a point of view without really identifying the author's bias.

On the plus side, it's a pretty clever idea of how to present economic principles. Some of the authors jump into the spirit of things, others less so.

It's also a very readable volume, breaking down what can sometimes be very abstract principles that rely on mathematics into explainable text.

Overall, the book is good. (I gave it three stars only because I had just finished a different book (not on economics) that, IMO, was better and I just could not justify four stars. So, bad timing. I think the book is most helpful for someone who had a course or four in economics a while ago and wants to review or at least think about microeconomics in a rather painless method. It's probably also pretty good as a supplement to a student who is taking an intro course and would like the principles explained in a different voice to fully understand them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Johnny & Riza on June 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joshua Hall, Associate Professor of Economics at West Virginia University, likes to use Simpsons and Springfield references in his lectures. He mentioned the title as a proposed article to Professor Deirdre McClosky who said "that should be a book." I don't know if Hall has a low utility for work or a keen sense of Comparative Advantage, but he elected to solicit essays from other instructors rather than write the book himself.

He collected 16, covering "The Economic Way of Thinking," "Money, Markets, and Government," and "Applied Microeconomics." Each appreciates The Simpsons and the result is a very enjoyable read.

"The invisible hand, as well as the four-fingered invisible "yellow" hands of the Simpsons, applies to more than what people usually consider to be the narrow scope of economic activity."

"Unfortunately for Homer, he won’t be creating new money any time soon. For that matter , he won't be multiplying existing money either. Homer finds himself in the same situation as Bart in "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." That episode begins with Bart writing over and over again on the chalkboard that he is not an FDIC-insured bank. D'oh!"

Economics is one area where one is not too surprised to find 16 academics who are sympathetic to liberty and distrustful of government and central planning. Where the discussion wends its way into politics. the distrustful will be sympathetic to the arguments.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Young on June 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most academic disciplines disdain popularization in general, and pop culture in particular. This book is an example of why both those attitudes are misguided. It starts with the basics--the first chapters read as though they assume no prior knowledge of economics at all. While this reader was initially disappointed by how basic those early chapters are, I changed my opinion upon realizing that literally anyone who likes the Simpsons can pick up this book and be completely unintimidated by it. Chapter 2 stands out in particular for its quality of exposition and sense of humor. This alone makes Homer Economicus a valuable contribution; the world needs more people who understand the economic way of thinking.

Once the basics are established, the book progresses to more advanced topics. There are high-quality chapters on public choice theory, behavioral economics, and other subfields. But if the non-economist reader absorbs the earlier lessons--and even if not, in many cases, so accommodating are the authors--that what once seemed arcane technical gibberish comes alive in easy-to-understand examples from the show.

Homer Economicus would make a wonderful teaching tool for high school and undergraduate economics courses; teachers take note. It is also a good read for anyone who is a fan of the show, whether layman or professional economist. Bravo.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dmitri Ulinov on June 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Except without pigs or spiders, and lot of economics! My only concern is that it didn't have Precious Roy because Precious Roy knows about economics.
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