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The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run--or Ruin--an Economy (Anglais) Broché – 6 janvier 2015


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Every Tim Harford book is cause for celebration. He makes ‘the dismal science’ seem like an awful lot of fun.”
– Malcolm Gladwell

“With fascinating examples and vivid explanations, Tim Harford succeeds in turning macroeconomics into a gripping read.”
—Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem

"Tim Harford is perhaps our very best popular economics writer, and with this book he turns his attention to inflation, unemployment, business cycles, and macroeconomics, with lucid clarity and compelling insight."
—Tyler Cowen, author of Create Your Own Economy and The Great Stagnation

"Tim Harford is a brave man to write a book about macroeconomics for the lay person; luckily, he is also a funny man...his perky style and chatty asides keep us grinning... [and he] has a knack for posing questions the average reader will have wondered about."
Wall Street Journal

"Harford has a knack for writing about economic issues in a clear and gripping way."
Worth Magazine

“Harford brings vigor and even humor to otherwise dry topics…[and] clarity to what has often been comprehensible to only a select few.”
Publishers Weekly  

“Independent thinkers aspiring to a better understanding of the world economy and of possible fixes for the current downturn will delight in this crisp, readable, and knowledgeable explication and analysis of macroeconomic events and theoretical perspectives.”
Library Journal 

“By the end of this book, you'll have learned so much that you'll be just as confused as the experts – and anything but bored.”
The Christian Science Monitor 

“Tim Harford is perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world… what [he] has achieved with his new book is nothing less than the holy grail of popular economics. While retaining the accessible style of popular microeconomics, he has managed to explain, with clarity and good humour, the knottiest and most important problems facing the world’s biggest economies today.”
The New Statesman

“With beguiling clarity and…effortlessly breezy style… Harford explains the subject with impressive clarity and wit.”
The Times (London)

“Tim Harford is a brilliant explainer of economics…A superb guide, whatever your level of expertise.”
The Evening Standard
 

Présentation de l'éditeur

A provocative and lively exploration of the increasingly important world of macroeconomics, by the author of the bestselling The Undercover Economist.

Thanks to the worldwide financial upheaval, economics is no longer a topic we can ignore. From politicians to hedge fund managers to middle-class IRA holders, everyone must pay attention to how and why the global economy works the way it does.

Enter Financial Times columnist and bestselling author Tim Harford. In this new book that demystifies macroeconomics, Harford strips away the spin, the hype, and the jargon to reveal the truth about how the world’s economy actually works. With the wit of a raconteur and the clear grasp of an expert, Harford explains what’s really happening beyond today’s headlines, why all of us should care, and what we can do about it to understand it better.



Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Riverhead Books; Édition : Reprint (6 janvier 2015)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 159463291X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594632914
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,9 x 1,8 x 21 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par RAS TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS le 17 septembre 2014
Format: Broché
Malheureusement, les livres de Tim Harford ne sont pas encore traduits en français pour le moment. C'est un incomparable narrateur, il arrive à faire des histoires avec tous les développements théoriques macro-économiques qu'il expose. A chaque difficulté, il trouve une anecdote qui rend le propos intelligible. Par exemple, le cas de la coopérative de babysitting où personne ne demande la garde de ses enfants aux autres parce qu'ils espèrent tous économiser leurs vouchers pour des sorties futures, un cas typique de récession "par manque de demande". L'auteur suggère que les solutions keynésiennes sont dans ce cas efficaces. Cela consisterait dans ce cas-ci à réinjecter des vouchers dans le circuit, en distribuer aux parents relancerait la "demande" de babysitting. Ou les cas de ce camp de prisonniers de guerre allemand, où un petit commerce modeste mais florissant se développait à partir des colis de la Croix-Rouge. La diminution des ces arrivages entrainait alors une récession "par manque d'offre", par pénurie de marchandises. Dans ce cas, c'est plutôt la théorie économique classique qui aurait raison, soulignant l'inutilité d'injecter des liquidités, faute d'offre suffisante. Les choses sont plus complexes, et j'apprécie que Tim Harford simplifie, mais pas plus que nécessaire et présente aussi les complexités du débat. Le livre porte notamment sur les récessions, l'inflation, le chômage, le management, le PNB, le bien-être subjectif, les inégalités.Lire la suite ›
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Format: Format Kindle
This book is very well written and educational, as Tim Harford has led his readers to expect. At times, it is a bit heavy on the storytelling style. Overall, it does a nice job explaining a lay reader how economists think about the big macro issues such as growth, recessions and unemployment. I list what I view as some pluses and minuses of the book below.

Pluses:

- Great quotes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

- A nice debunking of Krugman's babysitting coop rant.

- A great discussion of Radford's POW camp article.

- A very pedagogical comparison of the classical and Keynesian views of recessions, concluding on an ironic note (but see below for a minus): « Sometimes an economy’s output is constrained by the demand for goods and services (Keynes’s Law) and sometimes it is constrained by their potential supply (Say’s Law). It sounds like neither of them are really laws at all. Yup. This is social science—what did you expect? » ... « But there is also a really simple way to combine the two views. We need to introduce a concept you’ll hear discussed often in economics—the “short run” and the “long run.” Most economists would agree that in the short run, it is Keynes’s Law that is relevant. And most economists would also agree that in the long run, it is Say’s Law that counts. »

- A thought provoking discussion of the question Can Growth Continue Forever?: « Energy growth is not the same as economic growth [...] It’s easy to grasp why exponential economic growth is not the same as exponential energy growth. If I’m worried about money, I may turn off my heating and wear a coat and hat indoors; a bit of extra money will mean I take off the hat and coat and use more energy.
Lire la suite ›
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book differs from probably all other books about economics .It is based on the head of a government that wants to apply the best lessons from three types of economists, macro economists, micro economists and behavioral economists. It is an exciting and frustrating experience. Every insight upon closer analysis has serious limitations that can be overcome in part by another discipline. Unfortunately the three disciplines have only recently taken an interest in each other. However we are still far removed from a coherent picture.
The author confirms that economic theory is a dismal science from the point of view of predicting what will happen in the future as the result of decisions. The author singles out parts in all three disciplines that are useful considering specific conditions . However there are parts that are useful depending on specific conditions. I was aware of some of these useful parts, but they were not completely clear to me. The authors gives excellent explanations, better than in the many books I I have read about economics.
It is also one of the few books about economics that are fun to read.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 48 commentaires
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Easy Non-Technical Intro to Macroeconomics 17 décembre 2013
Par Trey Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
**I received an uncorrected proof copy of the 2014 paperback edition of this book through a LibraryThing giveaway.**

I came to be a fan of Tim Harford through his podcasts, "More or Less: Behind the Stats" and "Pop Up Ideas". I was eager to read this book, because I am a big fan of the way the podcasts explore ideas and make sense of numbers in the news, and I've recently developed an amateur interest in economics. I was not disappointed.

One word of advice to the reader: throughout the book, Harford explicitly uses the conceit that he is speaking directly to you (who have been chosen to run a world economy) and that you are answering him. I found that jarring, but it was easy to put aside by imagining that instead of participating in a conversation, I was merely observing one.

The book explores macroeconomic ideas in an engaging way, and the dialog style allows the author to take the occasional left turn away from the topic at hand into an interesting cul-de-sac before jumping back on track. Most of the material is readily accessible if you have an interest in current events (no economic theory needed), though the discussion of the Beveridge curve could really have done with at least one diagram.

The entire discussion is bookended with by elements of the story of Bill Phillips, a tinkerer, war hero, hydraulics engineer, and eventually an influential economist who created a very cool machine—the MONIAC, or Monetary National Income Analogue Computer—that solved economic differential equations with water. His story is a highlight of the book, and is told largely in the first chapter.

Overall, this is a very accessible and non-technical introduction to macroeconomics, which is a especially nice since much of the material I've come across recently online, in podcasts, and in books has been on microeconomics or behavioral economics.
17 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A superb, fun to read look at macroeconomics 24 octobre 2013
Par sien - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
The Undercover Economist Strikes Back (2013) by Tim Harford is another excellent book from a superb economics writer. This book covers macroeconomics and presents a Socratic dialogue where Harford discusses how to run a modern economy. This sort of dialogue is often contrite. However Harford manages through his mastery of the subject and by being reasonable, skeptical and carefully presenting both sides of an argument to make it highly informative and enjoyable.
Sadly the cover of the edition I have has a quote from Alex Bellos suggesting that Harford could be Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell. While Harford has some similarities to Gladwell in that both write excellent infotainment Harford is much better because he writes over a more limited subject area but with much greater depth of knowledge.
The book covers recessions, money, inflation, stimulus, output gaps, unemployment, management, GDP, happiness and endless economic growth. It covers all with such aplomb that it’s hard to pick out the best bit.
Stylistically Harford uses a dialogue and also has the wonderful character of the economist Bill Phillips to provide a narrative core for the book. It all works.
This book is a delight to read.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Nice read, nice storytelling, lacks depth 25 janvier 2014
Par Gu Si Fang - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book is very well written and educational, as Tim Harford has led his readers to expect. At times, it is a bit heavy on the storytelling style. Overall, it does a nice job explaining a lay reader how economists think about the big macro issues such as growth, recessions and unemployment. I list what I view as some pluses and minuses of the book below.

Pluses:

- Great quotes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

- A nice debunking of Krugman's babysitting coop rant.

- A great discussion of Radford's POW camp article.

- A very pedagogical comparison of the classical and Keynesian views of recessions, concluding on an ironic note (but see below for a minus): « Sometimes an economy’s output is constrained by the demand for goods and services (Keynes’s Law) and sometimes it is constrained by their potential supply (Say’s Law). It sounds like neither of them are really laws at all. Yup. This is social science—what did you expect? » ... « But there is also a really simple way to combine the two views. We need to introduce a concept you’ll hear discussed often in economics—the “short run” and the “long run.” Most economists would agree that in the short run, it is Keynes’s Law that is relevant. And most economists would also agree that in the long run, it is Say’s Law that counts. »

- A thought provoking discussion of the question Can Growth Continue Forever?: « Energy growth is not the same as economic growth [...] It’s easy to grasp why exponential economic growth is not the same as exponential energy growth. If I’m worried about money, I may turn off my heating and wear a coat and hat indoors; a bit of extra money will mean I take off the hat and coat and use more energy. But that doesn’t mean that if I win the lottery I will celebrate by boiling myself alive. »

Minuses:

- A presumptuous claim: « Clearly, economists don’t understand everything about how to prevent an economy’s growth from slowing or going into reverse. If we did, it wouldn’t happen. »

- No mention anywhere of the monetary theories of business cycles (e. g. Austrian), besides the Keynesian and classical described above. As a result, another "oil shock" explanation of the crisis of the 70's...

- An unfortunate presentation of the efficiency wage theory of unemployment, as if a "good" labor market had to function like the buying and selling of T-shirts: « Ford’s five-dollar day meant that suddenly his workers had a lot to lose. The job they had at Ford paid twice what they could earn elsewhere. Workforce turnover plummeted, as you’d expect, but the real measure of success was dramatically increased labor productivity. As soon as Ford instituted the five-dollar day, his workers no longer lived in the perfectly functioning labor market of the classical textbooks, in which they could walk out of one job and into another at a moment’s notice. They operated instead on the fortunate side of a highly imperfect labor market. »
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Macroeconomics made "easy" 14 février 2014
Par Doug Cornelius - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Financial Times columnist and bestselling author Tim Harford tries to show us that macroeconomics is not that hard in The Undercover Economist Strikes Back.

In order to fix the economy, we need to understand the economy. The book is a "practically minded poke-around under the hood of our economic system." It's a sequel to The Undercover Economist , which looked at microeconomics. The first book looked at the cost of coffee and other focused topics that affect an individual's behavior.

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back tackles the world and the uncertainty of macroeconomics. These are the big forces of gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment. Rather a droll, laborious discussion of complex theories, Harford keeps things witty and perky.

The book is not about bashing big banks or pointing fingers at who caused the financial crisis of 2008. But he does discuss the macroeconomic forces in light of the recovery (or lack thereof) from the 2008 crisis.

He does not try to oversimplify the topics. He cautions that they are difficult to understand, difficult to calculate, and difficult to get right. He offers advice and lessons from history.

He explains the theory of currency with the extraordinary example of the rai used by the Yap islanders in Micronesia. Each rai is a stone wheel, the biggest of which is nine feet across and weighs over four tons. That will help you buy land. Smaller ones, a mere foot or two across will buy you a pig. The islanders still use the currency even if it has sunk to the bottom of the bay while being transported in a boat. Given the small number of transactions, the islanders can just keep track who owns which stone, without having to move the big ones. But is the Yap system any crazier than the use of gold?

He tackles the thornier problem of the cause of recessions. Is it a shortage of demand or a shortage of supply? Or both? Was the 2008 recession a demand shock or a supply shock? It's surprisingly fun to get to the answers with Harford leading the way.

I was happy to accept a review copy from the publisher.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Become the life of the party with this Undercover knowledge. 24 février 2014
Par Dennis Mitton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It’s odd in economic writing but Hartford makes a genuine attempt to understand and explain economics based on numbers without political bias. In a sea of books purporting to explain why the other guy is wrong and the writer is correct it’s nice, I think, to find an accessible writer focusing on what is provable. Well, arguable.

Hartford has the enjoyable skill for making the difficult sound a little less so. His writing is accessible and his explanations easy to digest. Compared to his other books this one is different: he writes in question and answer form. I notice that other reviewers are bothered by it. The style lends itself to reading in smaller chunks - slogging through page after page of Q&A wears one down. But don’t be put off – it’s accessible and very readable.

In this book he takes on the larger picture of macroecomonics with the same insight he uses in his other books. He lauds logic and history when it is repeatable and explores more deeply when it seems to fail us – we are human beings after all – as in unemployment. Topics include GNP, inflation, money, stimulus, and both the ‘babysitting’ and ‘prison camp’ recession.

No doubt there are cranks on all sides deriding Hartford as leaning too far this way or that. It’s how economists who don’t write books make a living. But for the average interested reader there is much to learn from this very able teacher. You won’t come away understanding triple variable investment curves but you will have an uncommon insight into economy that ought to make you the life of the party.
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