The Undercover Economist - Tim Harford

'Martin Wolf is correct to suggest that sweatshops are better than the horrors that came before them, and a step on the road to something better.'

 

Controversial and yet when explained in the context of China as a rising global economy I am inclined to agree with it. (I won't continue, otherwise I'll go into a huge narrative and you might as well just read the book rather than read me prattling on.)

I think if you are going to read an entry level economics book then this is the one. I was always glad I took economics at A-level, without knowing what the subject even was, my knowledge of how the world around us works increased dramatically. 

 

It was in those A level classes that my tutor recommended this book. 7 years later I've finally managed to tick it off my list and I wish I had heeded his advice sooner. I now understand development in poor countries better and why some stay poor and others ie China are rising rapidly. I understand how coffee shops use their menus in a clever, subtle way to get more money from those not paying attention and I understand better how the banking crisis happened and its ramifications. 

 

Incidentally there is a passage in this book about the men who bet against the banks having foreseen the housing bubble collapse and made a lot of money out of doing so. Soon a film that runs along those line will hit the cinemas in the UK. The Big Short. One of those strange coincidences,  I'll be sure to see it and I hope that some of you do too and buy this book, because despite its short length it is vastly eye opening.