Tim Harford

Economist, journalist, broadcaster
Tim Harford's writings reveal the economic ideas behind everyday experiences.

Why you should listen

In the Undercover Economist column he writes for the Financial Times, Tim Harford looks at familiar situations in unfamiliar ways and explains the fundamental principles of the modern economy. He illuminates them with clear writing and a variety of examples borrowed from daily life.

His book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure, argues that the world has become far too unpredictable and complex for today's challenges to be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinions. Instead, Harford suggests, we need to learn to embrace failure and to constantly adapt, to improvise rather than plan, to work from the bottom up rather than the top down. His next book, Messy: Thriving in a Tidy-Minded World will be published in September 2016. 

Harford also presents the BBC radio series More or Less, a rare broadcast program devoted, as he says, to "the powerful, sometimes beautiful, often abused but ever ubiquitous world of numbers."

He says: "I’d like to see many more complex problems approached with a willingness to experiment."

What others say

“Harford's invitation to a fireside chat in No 10, if not issued already, cannot be far off...” — The Guardian

More news and ideas from Tim Harford