Tim Harford The Undercover Economist



Pop-Up Ideas with Malcolm Gladwell, Gillian Tett, and David Kilcullen

We’re following “Pop-Up Economics” by inviting guest speakers to tell us about ideas from anthropology and political science – all wrapped up in stories to remember. We recorded these short (13 minute) talks in front of a live audience in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, and I think they sounded terrific. I can’t wait to hear the program itself.

The show is being broadcast on Radio 4 at 9.30am each Tuesday morning, from today. Our guest speakers are Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”, anthropologist and financial journalist Gillian Tett, and counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen. Plus me!

The podcast episodes should appear on the Pop-Up Economics feed.


Next series of Pop Up Ideas to be recorded on June 10th

Pop Up Economics is now Pop Up Ideas, and the next series will be inspired by ideas from anthropology and political science. We’re recording the entire series in front of a live audience – please come along. You can apply for free tickets here.

Speakers will include anthropologist / capital markets editor of the Financial Times, Gillian Tett; counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen; and a man who needs no introduction, Malcolm Gladwell. And yours truly, of course.

26th of May, 2013RadioSpeechesComments off

A spreadsheet error, a homework assignment, and a dose of reality for empirical economics

This subject has been covered ad nauseam in the econoblogosphere, but I’m still proud of our short More or Less documentary on how a student undercut the economics paper that austerity-minded politicians love to cite.

For more free More or Less podcasts, click here.


The astonishing life of Bill Phillips

This is the latest video from the recording of my my radio series, “Pop Up Economics“. (Alternative link to watch.)


Pop-Up Economics, Pulp-O-Mized


The Pulp-O-Mizer. More about Pop-Up Economics.


7th of February, 2013MarginaliaRadioComments off

Thomas Schelling, Henry Kissinger, and Dr Strangelove

The full video of the latest episode of Pop Up Economics (free podcast here). Enjoy and please spread the world. (You can also watch here.)

3rd of February, 2013HighlightsRadioVideoComments off

Thomas Schelling, game theory, and nuclear deterrence

Here’s a four-minute video, an extract from a forthcoming episode of Pop-up Economics – do please sign up for the free podcast! Next episode on BBC Radio 4 tonight, 8.45pm GMT. [EDIT: Full 14 minute video is now available.]



The Indiana Jones of Economics

This is an edited version (five minutes rather than thirteen) of my talk on the amazing life of Bill Phillips. [EDIT: The full-length version is now available.]

It’s part of the pop-up economics series – listen out at 8.45pm GMT, Radio 4, for the story of of two Nobel laureates – a doctor and an economist – who revolutionised transplant surgery. Podcast and other details here.

23rd of January, 2013RadioVideoComments off

How to support innovations that matter

That was the topic of the first episode of “Pop Up Economics“, and here’s the video!


Pop-Up Economics – new radio series

I’m delighted  to announce the arrival of “Pop Up Economics”, my new radio series for the BBC. I’m proud of it and I think my producers have made it sound exciting and very different.

The show is all about storytelling – and the stories are of remarkable lives or surprising ideas in economics. We’ll learn about the impromptu engineering genius Bill Phillips, the cold war guru Thomas Schelling, and life-saving market designer Al Roth. We’ll discover how the geeks took over poker, and what happened to them.

And the series begins with the innovation lessons from the London Olympics – or as we’ve called it, “Hot Pants vs. the Knockout Mouse”.

Here’s the free podcast page (or search on iTunes) and here is the series homepage. Please spread the word. First broadcast is tonight, 8.45pm GMT, BBC Radio 4.

Previous Next


  • 1 Twitter
  • 3 RSS
  • 5 Podcasts
  • 6 Facebook


  • Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy
  • Messy
  • The Undercover Economist Strikes Back
  • Adapt
  • Dear Undercover Economist
  • The Logic of Life
  • The Undercover Economist

Free Email Updates

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new articles by email (you can unsubscribe at any time).

Join 188,579 other subscribers.