Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is Tim Harford reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read is Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, Why the Poor Are Poor -- And Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!.

His entry opens:
For the past few months I've been mixing business and pleasure. As I work on my new book, so have been studying research from some great economists young and old: Thomas Schelling, Michael Kremer, Gary Becker, Steve Levitt, Ed Glaeser, Roland Fryer, Daron Acemoglu and many others. Schelling's books are particularly accessible to a general audience: I strongly recommend Micromotives and Macrobehavior and Choice and Consequence.
Since Schelling is the unofficial favorite Nobel Laureate of the Campaign for the American Reader, Harford's recommendation was especially well-taken here.

Harford went on to name a few books about poker and "Prisoner's Dilemma, the biography of John von Neumann that got [him] thinking about the relationship between poker and economics."

He also mentioned "The Soulful Science and More Sex is Safer Sex, both of which are new appearances from famliar economics writers, Diane Coyle and Steve Landsburg," and both of which are in the Page 69 Test Series ... as is The Undercover Economist.

The Undercover Economist is now available in a paperback edition.

Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics at Columbia University and author of In Defense of Globalization, is among the eminent economists who have praised the book: "If you need to be convinced of the ever-relevant and fascinating nature of economics, read this insightful and witty book by Tim Harford. Using one interesting example after another, The Undercover Economist demonstrates how economic reasoning -- often esoteric and dull, but totally accessible in Harford's hands -- helps illuminate the world around us. Indeed, Harford's book is a tour de force."

The Page 69 Test:
The Undercover Economist.

Writers Read: Tim Harford.

--Marshal Zeringue