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Links for the closer reader, viewer and/or listener


There really is so much amazing and interesting content out there on the world wide web. Whether it be in blog, podcast, video or newspaper/ magazine form. This post is a bit of a brain dump of links about some of the books which I have reviewed here on Closer readings. I hope that you find them interesting as I have and maybe encourage you to read some of the books that might tickle your fancy.

Travels of a T shirt

Planet Money Makes A T- Shirt

This was the first book I blogged on here and I just had another look back on the chapter concerning second hand t-shirts. It still resonates with me as a powerful story about how trade can be a force for good in the world and the amount of recycling that takes place after the T Shirts, jeans and other articles wealthy Americans dump at the Salvation Army end up clothing the African poor. I’ve done a separate post about planet money’s T Shirt exercise but I highly recommend it.

Why nations Fail.

Russ Roberts asks Aceomoglu Why Nations Fail

This interview with Daron Acemoglu (one of the two authors of Why Nations Fail) delves into the broader discussion about the role of institutions in economic development and taps into some of the critical junctures in history which led to significant change such as the glorious revolution in the UK which led to the industrial revolution.

Gates on Why Nations Fail

This is Bill Gates’ highly critical view on Why Nations Fail which I read before encountering the book. Whilst any comprehensive model of the institutions necessary for economic development will miss subtleties of nuances of each country and perhaps Gates is right to be critical of an approach perceived as one size fits all, I still felt there was quite a bit to consider useful in the discussion. Gates’ criticism with respect to the authors’ treatment of China was fair and I agree Why Nations Fails doesn’t delve deep enough into the case of China. Gates is also more optimistic about the efficacy of foreign aid than the authors who are particularly skeptical about it when provided to countries with extractive institutions.


Russ Roberts talks to Tim Harford about Adapt

Another econ talk podcast. This time, Russ Roberts asks Harford about the virtues of failure and how this method of trial and error works to generate world changing outcomes. Roberts is very much a believer in the Hayekian decentralised order so he has much to cover with Harford in the discussion of the Iraq war and other areas.



A ted video from the man himself. Harford is engaging as he tells the story of Archie Cochrane and a randomised trial of giving half his fellow inmates in a POW camp Vitamin C and the other half Vitamin B12 (in the form of marmite) to test  which treatment yields the best results. I won’t spoil the end but the story is a fascinating one from a masterful story teller.

Well that is a sample of other material on some of the books I have blogged on and I hope they illuminate things for those of you who are interested. Take care and keep learning!




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