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Dear Undercover Economist: Priceless Advice on Money, Work, Sex, Kids, and Life's Other Challenges [Paperback]

Tim Harford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

25 Aug 2009
Throughout history, great philosophers have been answering profound questions about life. But do they know why your socks keep disappearing from the dryer, or how to choose the quickest line at the supermarket? Probably not, but Tim Harford does. . . .

In Dear Undercover Economist
, the first collection of his wildly popular Financial Times columns, Tim Harford offers witty, charming, and at times caustic answers to our most pressing concerns–all through the lens of economics. Does money buy happiness? Is “the one” really out there? Can cities be greener than farms? Can you really “dress for success”? When’s the best time to settle down? Harford provides brilliant, hilarious, unexpected, and wise answers to these and other questions. Arranged by topic, easy to read, and hard to put down, Dear Undercover Economist lends an outrageous, compassionate, and indispensable perspective on anything that may irk or ail you–a book well worth the investment.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • If you enjoy Tim Harford's The Logic of Life or his Undercover Economist column in the Financial Times, you must try his new book, Dear Undercover Economist ...
    Dear Undercover Economist



Product details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade (25 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812980107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812980103
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 12.8 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Harford is a member of the Financial Times editorial board. His column, 'The Undercover Economist', which reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences, is published in the Financial Times and Slate. He is also the only economist in the world to run a problem page, 'Dear Economist'. Tim presented the BBC television series 'Trust Me, I'm an Economist' and now presents the BBC radio series 'More or Less'. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Forbes, New York magazine, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Tim won the 2006 Bastiat Prize for economic journalism and is also an award-winning speaker.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 20 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed the book, given it to my father to read now as he will probably enjoy it to .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A rare miss for Tim Harford 3 Feb 2010
By Aaron Schlafly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of Tim Harford's books; The Undercover Economist and Logic of Life were really interesting, in a vein similar to Freakonomics (to cite a more famous but not-necessarily-better book#. What I enjoyed about those books was that he explained economic and behavioral topics in an informal but entertaining way.

This book is compiled from letters and responses to his articles in the Financial Times, so intersting topics are touched on ("so-and-so showed that people are more likely to ..."), but the format is too cramped to elaborate.

If it is advice you are looking for, do yourself a favor: instead of getting this book, make sure to pick up his other two books instead.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Informative Read - I laughed Out Loud Alot 30 Jan 2010
By Scott Andrew Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After sitting bleary eyed through many economics classes - I would have bet my life savings that a professional could never have written a fun and informative book. I was wrong.

This is a thinking persons book. Lots of humor interlaced with economic concepts at a pretty deep level

You wont be disappointed
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the free advice 7 Jan 2012
By Grant Schwppe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book left me disappointed, built of the interest of Freakonomics, I thought that this seemed interesting. As I started to read through the "chapters" I was getting less interested in what the book had to offer. Given the format of a 200 word response to each question, the amount of economics was very limited. Although it did mention a general theory of why something happens, I would not even feel satisfied if I had personally wrote the question to "Dear Economist." I would have asked for a refund if it wasn't free advice. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

If you want to read a lot of questions about life from several categories, only to hears answers that briefly state some professor somewhere studied this behavioral phenomenon. This is not worth your time to read if you are looking for insightful information on the topic of behavioral economics.
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and quirky 20 Mar 2012
By Kara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you subscribe to the Financial Times, there's no need to get this book. It's a compilation of Harford's columns from there.

He basically takes serious questions (broadly: how should I raise my children, how can I have a successful relationship, how can I get rich, etc.) and answers them with an economics-based joke. As a former econ major, I thought it was hilarious. A little on the light side, sure, but a good coffee-table book. If you don't enjoy economics (or academic wittiness), don't pick this one up. If you're looking for real advice, don't pick this one up.

Do pick it up if you'd like an introduction to some basic (and some esoteric) economic concepts or if you're looking to make interesting cocktail party conversation.
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and intelligent 25 Dec 2011
By Vinc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This armchair economics book is fun and full of good tips. The approach can help to take informed and intelligent decisions in a wide array of situations. Very nice.
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