Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
A nerd at heart, I am always looking for a good laymans book on economics. This book is a bestseller for a reason. The author takes every day situations and explains economic theories based on these situations. The result: The reader is able to understand the how and why things unfold as they do. Economics is not just a bunch of complex mathematical equations. It is a study of scarcity be it money, or time, or resources. My only complaint is that the author becomes too wordy at times and interjects his personal opinion too often. Still, if you are interested, it is an easy read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
International bestseller, with over 1.5 million copies sold throughout our Earth! World-renowned economist Tim Harford (author) provides world-class, brilliant and/or incredible content in a sharp, easy-to-read, and insightful text. He is able to teach the most difficult concepts within the social science of "Economics," in a sharp, fun format of a text! Tim Harford (author) currently teaches the topic of Economics at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. An updated version, very-well written. Tim Harford (author) explains in a fun, in-depth, outstanding text what most world citizens understand and don't understand about the way the globalized economy functions.

Mind-boggling content. The most difficult elements involved withing the topic of economics, broken down in a sharp, fun text, easy to read, then comprehend nonfiction book. For example, the ideas of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) and Milton Friedman (1912-2006) are explained. Concrete, relevant examples in everyday life that are very intriguing are cited; showing the massive relevance of understanding how economics in our daily life. Outstanding for anyone searching for a clear, brilliant, luminous book on the role of economics in our 21st century - globalized society. Overall, a sharp text that explains the role of economics in our modern globalized economy.

Virtually every concept of macro-economics is explained in a fun manner. My favorite; "How much is your life worth?" (p.95). Tim Harford (author), states: "Individually, we constantly make decisions that put a value on our own environment, our own time, and even our own lives" (p.97). Discussing numerous examples: "If you decide you can't be bothered buying a smoke alarm, you have trade off a saved time and expense against an increases chance that you will die" (p.97), adding "nobody has your best interests at heart quite as much as you do yourself" (p.99).

Money well-spent. I read dozens of sources of financial news everyday! These include the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, New York Time, plus many other sources. This nonfiction book is like all of the greatest nonfiction books on "Economics," thousands of hours of reading all the best sources, books, professionals, and teachers INTO ONE easy-to-read text. Timeless and very relevant to anyone's existence within our globalized economy. Part expose, part Economics class, everything in the field of economics is explained from traffic on the road to the price of your latte. Updated, grasping all the content additional information from 2008-2012 (Great Recession) + past history; the content is very important for any American, westernized citizen that is participating in worldwide commerce.

Superior content to any other modern "Economics" book. The language is easy and all of the material from inside the very difficult field of economics is explained with many fun anecdotes, and stories inside each of the chapters. The text allows an inside look for anyone inside the how field of "Economics." It's many functions. Pervasive, many topics are discussed in depth: health care, third-world sweatshops, immigration, price gouging, SEC fraud, market efficiency, poverty reduction, plus many other relevant subjects. How everything in the field of economics, these difficult to understand concepts do in fact shape our daily existences on this Earth. Overall a very good nonfiction book, highly recommended reading for anyone everyone in our modern globalized society that has an interest in finance, business administration, sociology, history, investing and/or social science. Tim Harford (author), one of the world's most respected economists. His gift, commentary on how the field of how economics applies too virtually every facet of our daily lives. Highly recommended!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2015
Despite my criticisms, I think this book can teach the layman something about simple economic concepts, so I'm giving it an 'OK' three stars despite the biases.

This book goes out of its way to be readable and simplify complex economic concepts. It goes too far.. while it may define and explain what an externality means in the early book, it never mentions them when defending sweatshops as essential for growing economies. Corruption is 'an economic disincentive', but the connection between forms of government and successful countries isn't stated. The author is obsessively for free-trade and pro-globalization. He is worshipful of the Chinese economy for performing well in the past few decades. Harford loses sight of those 'tragic externalities' a fast growing economy generates for the rest of the world.

This book never gets into the "Terror of Infinity", the concept that endless growth with finite resources is not possible. It does mention that a small corrupt ruling class can utterly destroy a nation's economic growth (The Tokugawa Shogunate is given as an example), but never says a thing about contemporary examples. I found this obvious self-editing, this refusal to connect the dots, to give ANY political or moral conclusion, detracted from the message the book was trying to sell.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2013
If you think about buying this book assuming it is something like the very popular Freakonomics, full of with fun little factoids, you may be disappointed at first. While The Undercover Economist has its fair share of anecdotal illustrations and funny little chestnuts, it really is more of an Economics 101 course. It just happens to be written in a very lively way. It is clear that Harford takes his field of expertise, economics, quite seriously and that he is not out to compromise on substance over form. Rather, he seems passionate about economics and the power it holds and he must write his books in such a friendly, accessible way in order to share his truths with the greatest possible audience.

To summarize: The Undercover Economist explains the basic principles of incentives and the often quoted but not always correctly understood 'invisible hand' of the free market. Harford paints a picture of economic reality by building a framework out of a series of narratives and sometimes throws in an actual bit of theoretical explanation. Rather than concentrating on the best anecdotes that make for the easiest reads, he is clearly on a mission to make the reader truly understand the main principles of economic reality. From large concepts of why some countries have a hard time developing (spoiler alert: it's mostly due to lack of reliable and effective institutions) to why coffee at the station is expensive (spoiler alert: limited consumer choice makes it possible to sell at a premium).

A friend of mine used to say that certain left wingers would be perfectly reasonable people if only they took an introductory course in economics. This book might just be that. For example, to those who are stuck at the intuitive feel that economics is a zero sum game (if some get richer, others must get poorer), this book might include some invaluable additions to their thinking. And yes, they will have fun reading it, too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
Very easy to read and fascinating at least to someone like me who never knew anything about micro-economics. Very well written
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 7, 2015
Tim does a fantastic job explaining important economic concepts and without the confusing charts, graphs and formulas you usually see in an economics course. You get some fascinating anecdotes about how economics plays out in everyday life. You will never look at a supermarket or Starbucks quite the same away again. Tim delivers on every provocative question he asks in this book and answers the all important question of what the major difference is between rich countries and poor countries.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on July 29, 2013
Really great book, kind of like superfreakonomics but in more detail and real life application, definitely recommended if you like socio Econ
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on June 25, 2013
Having previously studied Econs in University, this book was a damn good recap of what i studied. Talked about Asymmetric information, Adverse selection, Moral hazard and such! It's such a good read! However, although the earlier chapters are easier to follow along, the latter might be hard to grasp. But i love this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on June 20, 2013
Well written and to the point. It is written in a manner that non-economists can understand and enjoy. It should be must reading for today's shoppers..
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on June 20, 2013
How economics underlies some of our behavior, and how it doesn't underlie some of the aspects you might think it should. Some applications to our current fiscal situation are pointed out.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Undercover Economist
The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford (Paperback - January 30, 2007)
$11.51


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.