The Undercover Economist Audiobook | Tim Harford | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (249 )
5 star
 (82)
4 star
 (80)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.8 (68 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.8 (70 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Paul Norwood Fresno, CA 04-24-06
    Paul Norwood Fresno, CA 04-24-06 Member Since 2005

    Paul Norwood

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Everyone needs to know this."

    This is a basic economic theory book which is logical and substantiated. The reader has a very British accent, is entertaining but somewhat monotone. I recommend this book if you are a little rusty on economics. Most of us would be best to hear this to support our own political views or possibly to change our political views. The book also answers many questions; why are poor nations poor? Why is China so successful as compared to India? What happened to India previously? What are negative externalities? What are the problems with the American and British health plans and what is the best way to solve the insurance problem? He is both conservative and sometimes liberal, so we can say middle of the road. He is fair. Sometimes the book is humorous at least as much as an economics text can be.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel Somerville, MA, USA 03-02-07
    Samuel Somerville, MA, USA 03-02-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Required reading for voters!"

    Harford explains lucidly how the free market determines how resources are allocated, why it seems to work well much of the time, why it fails under some circumstances, and what sort of government actions would appropriately address those failures. Much of the latter half of the book is devoted to the effects of increased global trade, including a whole chapter on the miraculous success of China. I didn't find all of it well argued; for example, his argument that globalization is not significantly harmful to the environment was painted in broad strokes and not well-supported. But overall, this book is an enjoyable elucidation of the world's dominant economic model, and should be read by anyone who... well, votes.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacques Ray Torrance, CA USA 05-02-06
    Jacques Ray Torrance, CA USA 05-02-06 Member Since 2003

    Cybermind

    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent Insight"

    Very good treatment of the economic concepts that we often ponder but for which we have no definitive solutions. Using an inductive approach the author explains a simple model for defining scarcity and its effects and then applies it to a number of tangential yet relevant areas. Very mind expanding for the economically curious.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 01-15-09
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 01-15-09 Member Since 2004

    Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    886
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    144
    84
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    0
    Overall
    "Deserves more than 1 listen"

    I listened to this audiobook over a year ago and can't believe how many things in life I've seen that ring true with what the author has to say in this book. I actually found myself re-listening to parts of the book - somethig I almost NEVER do!

    Probably the most interesting treatise in the book is the discussion about why poor countries stay poor. Having traveled to Cambodia recently, and to Russia right after the fall of Communism, the things the author said about this topic really seemed to hold water. However, had I not read this book, I never would have seen the common thread between the two.

    In some ways, this book reminds me of "Freakonomics", but seems more profound and well thought out.

    Liked it so well, that I bought his other audiobook.

    Only criticsim (and a small one) is that the author can tend to "overexplain" his position. But, it's a small issue - and the book's content and benefit easily transcend this issue.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Omaha, NE, USA 04-24-10
    William Omaha, NE, USA 04-24-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Well worth it"

    Really enjoyed his discussion about markets, both their power and limits. Harford doesn't try to explain too much with his theories, and the conclusions he does draw are well supported. If you like books like Freakonomics, you will like this as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Fairfax, VA, USA 07-09-07
    James Fairfax, VA, USA 07-09-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "economics rules!"

    A great read, which uncovers many things about the world that will clarify them for the ordinary reader, and even for the ordinary economist (like myself).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lonnie Mifflintown, PA, USA 02-05-07
    Lonnie Mifflintown, PA, USA 02-05-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Insightful Read"

    I enjoyed this book's insights into what really makes our society tick. It goes beyond the popular conclusions into the basics of motivation and structure. Worth it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Pacific Grove, CA, USA 04-26-10
    Margaret Pacific Grove, CA, USA 04-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not For High School Graduates"

    I was very disappointed in this book and want my 10 hours back....you can keep the money! was embarrassed for anyone who listens to this who doesn't know that supply and demand are basic to economics which is lectured about over and over again in this book. I was pulled in by the idea that essays were going to clue me in to stuff I didn't already know but this was not the case. Honestly, I was appalled at the dumb-downedness of this book and could have overlooked this if there were more than just a few interesting facts about products and how they are sold. Disappointed.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah New York, New York 03-03-14
    Noah New York, New York 03-03-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    53
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Econ 101 in a book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would absolutely recommend this book. Listen to this book, and you can skip your undergrad Econ 101 course - you'll already know everything in it, without ever having to draw a single supply-and-demand graph.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Tim Harford is an incomparable master of clear and simple, yet effective explanation of difficult concepts.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This book doesn't have scenes.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No; each section should be enjoyed on its own.


    Any additional comments?

    The sequel is great too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Honolulu, HI, United States 02-12-13
    Evan Honolulu, HI, United States 02-12-13

    Business owner , philanthropist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    73
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.