Tim Harford

(Timothy Douglas Harford)

Tim Harford
Tim Harford
  • Born:
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Economist

18

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Timothy Douglas Harford OBE is an English economist and journalist who lives in Oxford. He is the author of four economics books and writes his long-running Financial Times column, "The Undercover Economist", syndicated in Slate magazine, which reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His column in the Financial Times, "Since you asked", ran between 2011 and 2014 and offered a skeptical look at the news of the week.

Quotes About
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If the whole process of learning from failure means discarding stuff that's not working, but in fact, our natural reaction is to keep going, to throw more money behind it, to throw more emotional energy behind it... that's a real problem. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Failure ;Money, Coins & Minting
Failure's inevitable. It happens all the time in a complex economy. And how did the economy produce all these amazing things that we have around us, computers and cell phones and so on? Well, the process was trial and error. There were a bunch of ideas, and the good ones grew and prospered, and the bad ones were pretty ruthlessly weeded out. Time ;Failure
In certain businesses, I would say 10 failures to one success is a perfectly acceptable ratio. Because the failures die pretty quickly, they're not that expensive, and the successes can be really huge. Success
Our society is intertwined with the economy that we've built, which is a fantastically complex system. I hope that my writing about it might do some good, but that's not why I do it. Society ;Hope
Bill Phillips was this nervous, chain-smoking student. He had signed up to be an engineer, he had gone away to fight in the Second World War, he had come back. He had switched to sociology because he wanted to understand how people could do these terrible things to each other. And he did a little bit of economics on the side. War & Peace
Failure is inevitable; it happens all the time in a complex economy. Time ;Failure
Funnily enough, the Federal Reserve produced comics about monetary policy, and there is a good comic book guide to microeconomics and macroeconomics out there. But it is not really appropriate for younger readers; it is really aimed at economics students.
I don't think Brian Cox does 'The Wonders of the Solar System' because he believes the world would be a better place if people understood about the rings of Saturn; I just think he finds physics extremely interesting. It brings him joy, and he wants to spread the love. I feel the same about economics. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Economists have allowed themselves to walk into a trap where we say we can forecast, but no serious economist thinks we can.
I never understand why 'economist makes forecast' is ever a headline. Whether the economist in question is from the International Monetary Fund, a City forecasting group or the Treasury - a forecast is still not news.
The supermarket chain Whole Foods has quite a radical employee empowerment program, where employees get to decide whether another employee can work in their team or not. If they think this person's a slacker, doesn't have good ideas, they can vote and say, no, we don't want this person to be working with us on the vegetable aisle. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I think the association of economics with forecasting is unfortunate and is down to the fact that one great way to get an investment bank's name on business television is to hire a guy called a Chief Economist who will go and prognosticate. Business, Commerce & Finance
How did the economy produce all these amazing things that we have around us - computers and cell phones and so on? There were a bunch of ideas, and the good ones grew and prospered. And the bad ones were pretty ruthlessly weeded out. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
People today don't become economists to make the world a better place.
I am aiming my books at anybody with no economics background.
It's difficult because we tend to overrate the pain of failure. We fear it too much. That's research that emerges from psychology. We think it's going to be worse than it really is. And, I think, as we get a bit older, really after we leave school or college, we quickly stop experimenting. Failure
Cory Doctorow should be too busy for lunch. He's co-editor of, and a prolific contributor to, one of the most influential blogs in the world, Boing Boing. Over the past decade the Canadian-born writer has published 16 books, mostly science fiction novels. He campaigns vigorously on the politics of the digital age. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Economists have allowed themselves to walk into a trap where we say we can forecast, but no serious economist thinks we can. You don't expect dentists to be able to forecast how many teeth you'll have when you're 80. You expect them to give good advice and fix problems.