Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what you might expect, June 15, 2013
This review is from: The Undercover Economist, Revised and Updated Edition: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor - and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car! (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Pune

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,031,309