The Data Detective and How to Make the World Add Up

“He’s a genius at telling stories that illuminate our world”

Malcolm Gladwell

The Sunday Times number One Business Bestseller

How to Make the World Add Up

Ten Rules for Thinking Differently About Numbers

Is Published in North America as

The Data Detective

Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

Best Selling Author

Tim Harford

Tim is an economist, journalist and broadcaster. He is author of “The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”, “Messy”, and the million-selling “The Undercover Economist”. Tim is a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of Radio 4’s “More or Less”, the iTunes-topping series “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”, and the new podcast “Cautionary Tales”. Tim has spoken at TED, PopTech and the Sydney Opera House. He is an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford and an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. Tim was made an OBE for services to improving economic understanding in the New Year honours of 2019.

FAQ
Tim Harford

Books

The Next Fifty

The Next Fifty Things

“Endlessly insightful and full of surprises – exactly what you would expect from Tim Harford.”

Bill Bryson

Fifty Things

Fifty Things

“Packed with fascinating detail… Harford has an engagingly wry style and his book is a superb introduction to some of the most vital products of human ingenuity.”

The Sunday Times

Messy – How to be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-minded World

Messy

“It’s a very very good book, full of wise counterintuitions and clever insights.”

Brian Eno

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

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

Malcolm Gladwell

Adapt

Adapt

“In a world that craves certainty, Harford makes a compelling case for why we can’t have it. A brilliant and oddly empowering book.”

Dave Gorman

Dear Undercover Economist

Dear Undercover Economist

“The very best letters from the ‘Dear Economist’ columns from 2003-2008 in one handy book-sized package.”

The Logic of Life

The Logic of Life

“As lively as it is smart, charming, penetrating, and wise. If you are at all interested in knowing much more than you do about how the world works, you couldn’t ask for a better guide than Harford.”

Stephen J. Dubner

The Undercover Economist

The Undercover Economist

“This book should be required reading for every elected official, business leader, and university student.”

Steven D. Levitt

Articles

My favourite newsletters

Now we live in the substack era, I thought I'd share a few newsletters I enjoy receiving... Admittedly, the line between newsletter and RSS feed is rather blurred (and personally I like to consume things via RSS when I can). But here are a few recommendations... David...

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Two cheers for the Christmas newsletter

In these polarised times, one truth can be relied upon to unite the British commentariat: Christmas letters are ghastly. Writing in Country Life magazine, Kit Hesketh-Harvey advised being “alert enough to shake the card out directly over the recycling bin”. The late...

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The best podcasts of 2021

I'll admit, this is a somewhat arbitrary mix of podcasts that are noteworthy because they are particularly wonderful, noteworthy because I feel they are underappreciated, and noteworthy because they are new. Still - they are all free, and truly we live in an age of...

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Why carbon taxes really work

A friend recently wrote to me agonising over an ethical question. He was pondering a long-haul trip to see his family but was all too aware that the flight would have a huge carbon footprint. Could the journey possibly be justified? I suggested that my friend find out...

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My books of the year 2021

Ananyo Bhattacharya, The Man From the Future - A biography not only of the genius's genius, John von Neumann, but also of von Neumann's ideas and influence, which are nearly impossible to exaggerate. Serious and brilliantly-written. David Bodanis, The Art of Fairness...

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Notes on a statistical scandal

Even a spreadsheet can become a victim of its own success. Just ask the World Bank’s Doing Business report. While many worthy publications from the World Bank are never downloaded, Doing Business has been a smash hit for years. No longer. Amid an ugly scandal about...

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Interesting books arriving on my pile

The books I'm actually reading this week are: Mastermind by Maria Konnikova - drawing on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as inspiration to riff on creativity, rationality and memory. A pleasure to read and full of good ideas....

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Christmas? I had it wrapped up weeks ago

Christmas is coming early this year! Christmas shopping is anyway — or such is my plan. I’ve seen too many queues and empty shelves over the past couple of years to leave things to chance. (Supply chains, people!) I’ve been making a list, I’ve been checking it twice,...

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