Exposing Why The Rich Are Rich,
The Poor Are Poor—
And Why You Can Never Buy
A Decent Used Car!
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Copyright ｩ 2006 by Tim Harford
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataHarford, Tim, 1973–
The undercover economist / Tim Harford.
1. Economic history, 1990–
3. Consumer education.
HC59.15.H35 2005 330.9'0511—dc22
20050102971 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2
Printed in the United States of America
on acid-free paper
To Deborah Harford,Fran Monks, and Stella Harford—family
. . . past, present, and future.
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Peter Sinclair got me into economics; Tony Courakis, Simon
Cowan, Stan Fischer, Bob Garhart, Paul Klemperer, Brendan
McElroy, Elinor Ostrom, Hyun Shin, Bill Sjostrom, and many
others helped mealong the way. I am grateful to them all.
At Shell, Ged Davis let me work part-time while I produced
the first draft of the book. I was flattered by his reluctance and
grateful for his support. Other colleagues at Shell were inspira-
tional, especially Betty-Sue Flowers, Anupam Khanna, Cho
Khong, Michael Klein, Doug McKay, and John Robinson.
At the Financial Times, Pilita Clark,Andy Davis, Chris Giles,
Andrew Gowers, John Kay, John Willman, and Martin Wolf gave
me opportunities and then made sure I didn’t waste them.
At the World Bank, Michael Klein and Suzanne Smith are
wonderful colleagues and every day with them is an education.
David Bodanis, Felicity Bryan, Penny Dablin, Moore Flannery,
Juri Gabriel, Mark Henstridge, Diana Jackson, Oliver...