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DoctorWatts
I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 3:32AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So I'm 20 years old and majoring in math. A bunch of my friends studied/study commerce and whenever they talk about anything to do with finance my brain just turns off because I understand so little about what's being said that there's no point trying to engage with it. I figure that educating myself somewhat in this area will probably be useful long term too so I was hoping someone could recommend me some fundamental texts which will give me the basics.


tl;dr Can anyone who has studied economics/commerce please list some good books to read up on it for a complete beginner.
lol lol lol lol
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 4:33AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Carless Joe Jackson
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 4:43AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Unversity of Texas will have free courses online beginning next year but in the interim - I believe Princenton and Harvard have a full schedule of free undergraduate courses online currently.
DoctorWatts
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 4:48AM - in reply to lol lol lol lol Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

lol lol lol lol wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/Economics-One-Lesson-Shortest-Understand/dp/0517548232


Thanks for the input guys! Have you actually read this yourself or are you just posting something you found through google? I don't mind either way, I'm just curious. This looks like it could be a good place to start based on the reviews.
Carless Joe Jackson
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 4:53AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
where do you attend a university where Macroeconomics and Micro are not required for a major in Math? Sheesh - take a freecking course in Economics! Seriously - please tell where you go to school!
Carless Joe Jackson
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 4:56AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You are 20? And are attending a college or university? So maybe a junior? They have electives - if you really were interested you would have signed up already. And if you really attending a university - Eco would have already been required for a math degree - please do tell where you are attending - I doubt you are a math major.
Sweet Nell Fenwick
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 5:06AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Definitely read Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt before delving into anything involving economic calculation or mathematical modeling such as econometrics.

Here it is in PDF:

http://c457332.r32.cf2.rackcdn.com/pdf/books/Economics_in_one_lessonOCR.pdf

This doesn't have any math beyond simple arithmetic. What it does teach you is how to think like an economist should - looking at the whole picture and in terms of how people behave, not along the lines of short-term thinking and mathematical models which are of little use when addressing the uncertain future states of knowledge and behavior of subjectively-thinking human beings. The "one lesson" is based on Frederic Bastiat's "broken window fallacy" and the entire book gives many examples of its application in various areas of economics, continually prompting you to look not only at how an action, decision or policy affects an individual or the specific faction of society you directly see it affect in the here and now, but also how the decision affects the aggregate of society in both the present and the future.
MIT_graduate
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 5:11AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
MIT PhD student in Economics ( and runner...) here. Ask me whatever you want
Carless Joe Jackson
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 5:17AM - in reply to MIT_graduate Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

MIT_graduate wrote:

MIT PhD student in Economics ( and runner...) here. Ask me whatever you want


Okay - will ask - what do serious students of economics think of Paul Krugman?
Fatty R. Belt Buckle
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 5:20AM - in reply to MIT_graduate Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

MIT_graduate wrote:

MIT PhD student in Economics ( and runner...) here. Ask me whatever you want


One thing that always fascinated me was the concept of "utils" whereby your purchasing habit governed by how much utility you gain figuring in the price you pay. Can you expand on that? I try to tell my mom about that but been like 30 years so forgot much of it.
srsly
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 5:46AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Lie, cheat, and steal.

Also lots of hype and hope followed by sorry and misery.


Thats all you need to know.
Sweet Nell Fenwick
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 6:18AM - in reply to Fatty R. Belt Buckle Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The "util" is actually fictitious. It is an attempt to quantify the wholly subjective notion of value or satisfaction. The "util" is often used in formulating equations and drawing visually pleasing graphs to perform calculations. Some economists are fond of attempting to quantify value/utility, largely because these economists are mathematically inclined.

But value is actually the relationship between choice alternatives for a given person in a specific context. It varies from person to person and from one context to another. Since we cannot predict our future state of knowledge, we cannot even know if the utility derived from an economic good will be the same tomorrow as it is today. I may discover a new use for eggs tomorrow and the value I place on eggs will be entirely different than it is today. The satisfaction I gain from eating strawberries may grow higher the more I eat them. Then again, I may develop an allergy to strawberries after eating 50 of them every day for 3 months, and then their utility will decrease to below its original level.

Utility cannot be precisely quantified all the time.
jimfixx
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 6:33AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Are you really an African American? I won't help until I know you really are a brother.
NJ Possible
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 6:49AM - in reply to MIT_graduate Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

MIT_graduate wrote:

MIT PhD student in Economics ( and runner...) here. Ask me whatever you want


I've always thought the success of modern (especially conservative but most all American) economic priciples depended on a fair playing field, which we do not have. If corporate leaders can be rewarded as well or better for leading their company into sale or foreclosure, doesn't that throw the circular principles out of whack? I want to believe in a free market as much as anyone but can't get over my lack of trust in the system. Can you weigh in? Thanks.
Mr. Joad
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 7:26AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The thing you have to remember about economics is that it is not a science but a way or organizing human behavior.

It is presented to you as if the idea that supply and demand sets price is as much of a law of the world as f = ma or e = mc^2. It is not. Capitalism is not a natural law of the universe
um, duh
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 8:13AM - in reply to Carless Joe Jackson Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I took a Macroeconomics course in college and don't know crap about economics or finance.


Carless Joe Jackson wrote:

where do you attend a university where Macroeconomics and Micro are not required for a major in Math? Sheesh - take a freecking course in Economics! Seriously - please tell where you go to school!
Proper Liberal Economics
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 8:32AM - in reply to DoctorWatts Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Here's all you need to know: if it happened on Bush's watch, it's the Republicans' fault. And if it happened on Obama's watch, it's tge Repuvlicans' fault.
BRG/253
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 8:41AM - in reply to NJ Possible Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

NJ Possible wrote:
I've always thought the success of modern (especially conservative but most all American) economic priciples depended on a fair playing field, which we do not have. If corporate leaders can be rewarded as well or better for leading their company into sale or foreclosure, doesn't that throw the circular principles out of whack? I want to believe in a free market as much as anyone but can't get over my lack of trust in the system. Can you weigh in? Thanks.


You need to get your definitions right. Corporate bailouts are not a function of the free market, but acts of government interference in the market. In a proper free market, which we do not have, failed businesses would be allowed to go bankrupt, the incompetent people would lose their positions and competent people would come in and replace them. Our current government policy of rewarding failure definitely does not work (at least if a healthy, rational, successful, fair economy is your standard of success), but you must understand that the problem is caused by government, not the market.
Proper Liberal Economics
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 8:44AM - in reply to BRG/253 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
One more thing. If you don't think the government should spend more than it has, you are a RACIST!
Jimmy and Marty
RE: I want to learn the basics of economics. Help a brother out. 2/10/2013 9:08AM - in reply to srsly Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

srsly wrote:

Lie, cheat, and steal.

Also lots of hype and hope followed by sorry and misery.


Thats all you need to know.


This^^
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