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The Undercover Economist | [Tim Harford]

The Undercover Economist

Author of the extremely popular "Dear Economist" column in Financial Times, Tim Harford reveals the economics behind everyday phenomena in this highly entertaining and informative book. Can a book about economics be fun to read? It can when Harford takes the reins, using his trademark wit to explain why it costs an arm and a leg to buy a cappuccino and why it's nearly impossible to purchase a decent used car.
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Publisher's Summary

Author of the extremely popular "Dear Economist" column in Financial Times, Tim Harford reveals the economics behind everyday phenomena in this highly entertaining and informative book. Can a book about economics be fun to read? It can when Harford takes the reins, using his trademark wit to explain why it costs an arm and a leg to buy a cappuccino and why it's nearly impossible to purchase a decent used car. Supermarkets, coffee houses, airlines, insurance companies, and more are sucking money from our wallets. To protect ourselves and our bank accounts, we must better understand why companies do what they do.

©2006 Tim Harford; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC.

What the Critics Say

"The book is unequaled in its accessibility and ability to show how free market economic forces affect readers' day-to-day." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (279 )
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3.8 (92 )
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Story
3.8 (92 )
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 (35)
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Performance
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  •  
    Evan Honolulu, HI, United States 02-12-13
    Evan Honolulu, HI, United States 02-12-13

    Business owner , philanthropist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    21
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    1
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    "New Information in here!"

    I have read a lot of books that are the same old thing and to be honest this book does have some of that. It does have some concepts that I never got before though. Really worth while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony G Lazaro 10-28-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    7
    6
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    "Distracting performance"

    I enjoyed this book more than Freakonomics, but the reader was very distracting. I listen to most audiobooks via headphones and there wasn't a single sentence where I couldn't hear loud inhalations or other extraneous and irritating noises. The book itself was interesting enough that I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but the reader was very disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 09-07-10
    Mary 09-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    3
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    0
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    "Poor thought meet bad writing"

    I had heard that this book offers clear insights into economic theory. Nope, no insights, but that's largely because the author couldn't hold a critical thought in his head if his life depended upon it. I've read econ textbooks with more verve than this.

    All this book offers is the disproven and simplistic pop theory called "supply side economics" but he adds the insult of political posturing badly masked as research. The narrator has a voice that will bore you to tears, then send you searching for a blunt object to pound the life out of your iPod. The insanely circular logic and the flat sentence syntax are not the machines' fault, but the author is probably in hiding. If not he should be, if only out of embarrassment at publishing this mess.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaw san pedro, CA, USA 08-11-09
    Shaw san pedro, CA, USA 08-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    14
    5
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    0
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    "Its A Okey book"

    This book summarizes the economics around the world.
    It was a good listen but expected more. It's not worth the price.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Volo, IL, United States 11-23-11
    Kevin Volo, IL, United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    1
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    Story
    "My 2-year-old gives better insight"

    While a few of the points are valid, most of the book is complete nonsense. Examples: the part about buying a used car or health insurance are so far off the mark from reality. To borrow a quote from Billy Madison, everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristen Ashvville, NC, USA 02-02-08
    Kristen Ashvville, NC, USA 02-02-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    Showed a little promise early on about pricing but it soon turned into a long, slow, tedious, dull fizzle.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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