Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Great Summer Reading

The summer doesn't seem to be quite here yet as I sit in my igloo in Newhaven wrapped in three pullovers and a fur coat - got to cut done on heating bills somehow - but I'm warming up my brain with a great new book - 'The Undercover Economist' by Tim Harford. I've asked the Librarian to get a copy so you can borrow it - but why not buy your own copy - it's a sensible investment.

Tim explains in a light and humourous way many of the important themes that underlie new economics - how is it China has risen from the point of famine to being the world's second biggest economy in just fifty years, whilst the standard of living in Africa has actually fallen during the same period; why owning the land and the means of distribution is far more important and profitable than the end-products that are sold in retail outlets on that land and at the end of those distribution channels; how the radio spectrum has also become a form of land and also a means of distribution; the importance of 'crowding-out' a market; why housing and health are markets that cannot operate freely in the interests of the poor and so on.

This book will give you a flying start to the second year A-level programme - especially for module 5 - but don't take my word for it, find out for yourself.


  • I am very much attracted by this book just after reading the synopsis. Instead of quoting all those boring and old economics theories, Tim Harford uses a very lively approach to explore the everyday-life issues regarding economics, from small subject like "starbucks coffee" to bigger issues like globalisation and environment. I am particularly interested in the chapter on China's booming economy. It is amazing that China can go from the the world's worst famine to one of the greatest economic revolutions of all time, lifting a million people out of poverty a month in just 50 years!!!

    Regarding the boom of the Chinese economy, while most people in the world just see the bright side of it, I am a bit concerned by the hidden problems related to the boom which are mostly covered up by the Chinese government. I was quite taken aback after watching a video clip about how the Chinese land-developers in Beijing brutally demolish people's houses for development, leaving many to be homeless. This problem should really be addressed.

    Thanks for sharing with us such a terrific summer read. I guess everyone should be able to get some insights after reading it.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 am  

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