Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The next Freakonomics

Early this year, Freakonomics was published [that link is to the blog-cum-website of the authors]. Tim Harford has a follow-up act in his recently published The Undercover Economist.

Now, via Marginal Revolution, we have a link to an interesting interview of Tim Harford by Patri Friedman over at Cattalarchy. In this post, Friedman has included several links to reviews of the book as well.

In the interview, Tim Harford is asked to compare himself, the undercover economist, with Steve Levitt, the freakonomist:

In a cage match against Steve Levitt, would your undercover spy talents or his sumo-wrestling win the day? Bonus: would adding mud or oil change the result?

Steve Levitt will tell you if sumo-wrestlers are cheating. My ‘Dear Economist’ advice can tell you if your partner is cheating. Place your bets.

Now, if this line doesn't want to make you go buy the book, what will?

I have read Freakonomics, and I really liked it for its ability to explain all kinds of interesting nuggets that can be teased out from vast mountains of data. Tim Harford's book also sounds interesting. I will have to wait, though, for its price to fall to my range -- under 500 rupees.

Tim Harford's writings, including his 'Dear Economist' column in the Financial Times, are here. He also has a blog called the Private Sector Development Blog. And yes, these links were stolen shamelessly from Friedman's post, though I have to also admit that I had looked at his blog sometime earlier.