100 books like How to Make the World Add Up

By Tim Harford,

Here are 100 books that How to Make the World Add Up fans have personally recommended if you like How to Make the World Add Up. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World--And Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Gerard Pasterkamp Author Of Painted Science: The history of scientific discoveries, explorers and technological developments captured in painting

From my list on trying to explain basics in human behavior and decision making in a scientific manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scientist in the field of medicine, and I like to read books that provide a surprising insight into our thinking and decision-making with a scientific basis. It is special how we think we are acting rationally while much of our action is influenced by the environment and news that comes our way. Some of the books in my list provide special insights that are refreshing and hold a mirror up to us.

Gerard's book list on trying to explain basics in human behavior and decision making in a scientific manner

Gerard Pasterkamp Why did Gerard love this book?

It's amazing how our thinking is influenced by a biased statement. This book shows that there is still hope when you look at the real facts.

The author asks a number of questions that require basic knowledge of everyday data that we read a lot about in the press. Questions such as: "How many people in the world are illiterate?" or "How many women are not educated?" are answered incorrectly by politicians, bankers, and scientists, those who determine our policy.

It is confronting to realize that more questions could have been answered correctly by simply guessing.

By Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Factfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.' BARACK OBAMA

'One of the most important books I've ever read - an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.' BILL GATES

*#1 Sunday Times bestseller * New York Times bestseller * Observer 'best brainy book of the decade' * Irish Times bestseller * Guardian bestseller * audiobook bestseller *

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how…

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Scott Galloway Author Of The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security

From my list on helping you be your best self.

Why am I passionate about this?

I try to use my platform to  help people consider how to live a more meaningful life. I've made mistakes, learned from them, and want to pass on those lessons. There are many definitions of success and fulfillment and many paths to achieve it. I hope by telling my story others can avoid some of the mistakes I made.

Scott's book list on helping you be your best self

Scott Galloway Why did Scott love this book?

Professor Kahneman’s ideologies on decision-making have helped me in business and my personal life.

His insights have enhanced my decision-making process and helped me navigate the strait between instinct and decision. His insights have encouraged me to delegate routine decisions, allowing me to reserve my mental energy for the most critical choices.

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…

Book cover of The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers

Panayotis G. Michaelides Author Of History of Economic Ideas: From Adam Smith to Paul Krugman

From my list on the evolution of economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Full Professor and Lab Director in Economics. My interest in this field began when I traveled abroad and observed the differences in prices, goods, and quality of life. In order to gain a deeper understanding, I decided to switch from my previous academic background in Engineering, Mathematics & Physics to Economics, Finance & Data Science. Today, I am dedicated to expanding my knowledge and sharing my insights through teaching, academic publications, and LinkedIn posts. According to the latest rankings, I am humbled to be among the top 3% most productive economists worldwide (IDEAS-RePec, 2023), as well as being ranked among the top 4% researchers in Financial Economics, and the top 5% in Econometrics (Researchgate, 2023).

Panayotis' book list on the evolution of economics

Panayotis G. Michaelides Why did Panayotis love this book?

Are you looking for a good introduction to Economics?

Then, as I did, start with a brilliant survey of the main thinkers, who have shaped our understanding of the economic system. These economists’ thoughts ranged from addressing how to improve the quality of life for all, to understanding the source of value and the functioning of the economy.

Although they were not always accurate, their influence on contemporary Economics is tremendous, and Heilbroner's writing style will captivate you. I recommend this book to all of my students and colleagues.

In fact, after reading this book during my University studies, I became inspired to study Economics in depth and engage in scholarly research. Even switched from Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics to Economics, Finance, and Data Science.

Book cover of Money: The Unauthorized Biography

Daromir Rudnyckyj Author Of Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance

From my list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an economic anthropologist and teach classes and conduct research in this area. Economic anthropology is different from economics in that it questions many of the things that economics takes for granted. For example, most economists assume that allocating goods through the market by buying and selling is the best way to organize human communities. Economic anthropologists have shown, in contrast, that many societies have been organized according to other exchange principles. In fact, some of the oldest communities in the world, such as Sumer and Babylon, based their economies around elaborate systems of redistribution, in which every citizen was guaranteed food shares.

Daromir's book list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy

Daromir Rudnyckyj Why did Daromir love this book?

Money is often thought of as a valuable thing, like gold or silver. 

This leads us to presume that it must be finite in quality due to its scarcity. Drawing on anthropological studies of objects such as Yap stones, massive stone disks found on a far-flung island in the Pacific Ocean.

Martin shows instead that money is not so much a thing but an abstract system for tracking who has what and who is entitled to what, similar to what the anthropologist Keith Hart has called a “memory bank.” By rethinking money along these lines, we might be able to rethink how we decide who gets what and who doesn’t get what in our communities.

By Felix Martin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From ancient currency to Adam Smith, from the gold standard to shadow banking and the Great Recession: a sweeping historical epic that traces the development and evolution of one of humankind’s greatest inventions.

What is money, and how does it work? In this tour de force of political, cultural and economic history, Felix Martin challenges nothing less than our conventional understanding of money. He describes how the Western idea of money emerged from interactions between Mesopotamia and ancient Greece and was shaped over the centuries by tensions between sovereigns and the emerging middle classes. He explores the extraordinary diversity of…

Book cover of The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data

Valliappa Lakshmanan Author Of Data Science on the Google Cloud Platform: Implementing End-To-End Real-Time Data Pipelines: From Ingest to Machine Learning

From my list on if you want to become a data scientist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career as a research scientist building machine learning algorithms for weather forecasting. Twenty years later, I found myself at a precision agriculture startup creating models that provided guidance to farmers on when to plant, what to plant, etc. So, I am part of the movement from academia to industry. Now, at Google Cloud, my team builds cross-industry solutions and I see firsthand what our customers need in their data science teams. This set of books is what I suggest when a CTO asks how to upskill their workforce, or when a graduate student asks me how to break into the industry.

Valliappa's book list on if you want to become a data scientist

Valliappa Lakshmanan Why did Valliappa love this book?

What if you are faced with a problem for which a standard approach doesn’t yet exist? In such a case, you will need to be able to figure out the approach from the first principles. This book will help you learn how to derive insights starting from raw data.

By David Spiegelhalter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Statistics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A statistical national treasure' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

'Required reading for all politicians, journalists, medics and anyone who tries to influence people (or is influenced) by statistics. A tour de force' Popular Science

Do busier hospitals have higher survival rates? How many trees are there on the planet? Why do old men have big ears? David Spiegelhalter reveals the answers to these and many other questions - questions that can only be addressed using statistical science.

Statistics has played a leading role in our scientific understanding of the world for centuries, yet we are all familiar with the way…

Book cover of An Economic Analysis of Crime and Justice: Theory, Methods, and Applications

Brian Forst Author Of Errors of Justice: Nature, Sources and Remedies

From my list on the economics of crime and justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my academic career, my chief scholarly interest has been to assess public policy using coherent theory and rigorous empirical method. The economics of crime and justice offers a powerful framework for achieving these ends.

Brian's book list on the economics of crime and justice

Brian Forst Why did Brian love this book?

This book applies economic theory and econometric methods to problems in criminology.

It is divided into three parts. Part I discusses models of criminal recidivism. Part II describes the economic model of crime. Part III estimates cost functions for prisons.

Specific chapters cover statistical analysis of qualitative outcomes; analysis of two measures of criminal activity – the arrest rate and the conviction rate; and long-run estimates of cost functions for a group of Federal Correctional Institutions. 

Book cover of Essentials of Statistics for Business & Economics

Chet Richards Author Of Certain to Win

From my list on upsetting your orientation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never had a real career. Closest I came was the Air Force Reserve for 27 years. Along the way, I built fighter-vs-fighter computer models for the Defense Department, served as an advisor to a Saudi Air Force prince, led a team that designed a replacement for the Air Force’s A-10 tankbuster (which was never built, unfortunately), sold C-130 transport aircraft in Saudi Arabia, taught statistics in business school, became a yoga instructor, and did PR work in Atlanta. Starting in 1975, I collaborated a little with a retired Air Force colonel, John Boyd, creator of the infamous “OODA loop.” I was never a published author in the US, although I am in India, Portugal, and Japan. 

Chet's book list on upsetting your orientation

Chet Richards Why did Chet love this book?

Here’s some bad news for non-STEM people: You’re going to have to learn a little about statistics. Otherwise, at some point, you going to get, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb puts it, “fooled by randomness.” An example: Suppose you’ve been a sales manager for a long time but recently you failed to close a string of prospects. How unusual is this? It could be just a run of bad luck, or is it time to make some significant personnel moves? Basic knowledge of statistics can help. If your math is rusty, you might want to take a stat course for non-math majors. Otherwise, here’s a book that I used with my MBA students that features scenarios from businesses.  

By David R. Anderson, Dennis J. Sweeney, Thomas A. Williams , Jeffrey D. Camm , James J. Cochran

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Essentials of Statistics for Business & Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover how statistical information impacts decisions in today's business world as Anderson/Sweeney/Williams/Camm/Cochran/Fry/Ohlmann's leading ESSENTIALS OF STATISTICS FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS, 9E connects concepts in each chapter to real-world practice. This edition delivers sound statistical methodology, a proven problem-scenario approach and meaningful applications that reflect the latest developments in business and statistics today. More than 350 new and proven real business examples, a wealth of practical cases and meaningful hands-on exercises highlight statistics in action. You gain practice using leading professional statistical software with exercises and appendices that walk you through using JMP (R) Student Edition 14 and Excel (R) 2016.…

Book cover of A Primer In Game Theory

Guilherme Carmona Author Of Existence And Stability Of Nash Equilibrium

From my list on game theory.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up listening and participating in discussions about politics. These discussions often ended up on Economics – after all, “it’s the economy, stupid!”. Game theory, by being very broad and focused on strategic interactions, served as a very rewarding unifying apparatus for my understanding of Economics. It is also very beautiful and elegant, combining the austere beauty of pure mathematics with insights from elegant literature – I was pleased to cite Graham Green’s Our Man in Havana in a recent paper. It has accompanied me in a 20-year career since my PhD in Economics at the University of Minnesota to my current professorship in Economics at the University of Surrey.

Guilherme's book list on game theory

Guilherme Carmona Why did Guilherme love this book?

When the goal is to have an appealing introduction to game theory, with plenty of economic applications, there can hardly be any book better than this one.

It covers the core elements of game theory in a simple, yet careful, way, always illustrating them with expertly chosen economic problems. A must for anyone wanting to enter the world of game theory.

By Robert Gibbons,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Primer In Game Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book's introduces one of the most powerful tools of modern economics to a wide audience - not only those who will specialize as pure game theorists but also those who will construct (or even just consume) game-theoretic models in applied fields of economics.

Book cover of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence

Richard Holden Author Of Money in the Twenty-First Century: Cheap, Mobile, and Digital

From my list on books about the digital economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an economics professor, but I also have a column in Australia’s leading financial newspaper so I really appreciate authors who can tackle complex topics in an accessible manner. I’m also both extremely interested in and do academic research on topics to do with technologies like two-sided platforms, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. All these books made me think harder about the big issues in these areas, and how to combine rigorous research with what is actually happening—often at breakneck speed—in the real-world digital economy.

Richard's book list on books about the digital economy

Richard Holden Why did Richard love this book?

This book helped me understand why advances in artificial intelligence are going to have a big impact on productivity and economic growth. I loved the analogies to old technologies like electrification of factories, and newer examples like how Team New Zealand used simulations to change racing tactics and boat design.

The book has an important, big idea at its heart. That idea is that AI helps organizations make better predications, and those better predictions allow organizations to be fundamentally redesigned to take advantage of this. This is where the AI productivity revolution comes from.

By Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Prediction Machines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"What does AI mean for your business? Read this book to find out." -- Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google Artificial intelligence does the seemingly impossible, magically bringing machines to life--driving cars, trading stocks, and teaching children. But facing the sea change that AI will bring can be paralyzing. How should companies set strategies, governments design policies, and people plan their lives for a world so different from what we know? In the face of such uncertainty, many analysts either cower in fear or predict an impossibly sunny future.

But in Prediction Machines, three eminent economists recast the rise of AI…

Book cover of R in Action: Data Analysis and Graphics with R

Tilman M. Davies Author Of The Book of R: A First Course in Programming and Statistics

From my list on intro to programming and data science with R.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an applied statistician and academic researcher/lecturer at New Zealand’s oldest university – the University of Otago. R facilitates everything I do – research, academic publication, and teaching. It’s the latter part of my job that motivated my own book on R. From first-year statistics students who have never seen R to my own Ph.D. students using R to implement novel and highly complex statistical methods and models, my experience is that all ultimately love the ease with which the R language permits exploration, visualisation, analysis, and inference of one’s data. The ever-growing need in today’s society for skilled statisticians and data scientists means there's never been a better time to learn this essential language.

Tilman's book list on intro to programming and data science with R

Tilman M. Davies Why did Tilman love this book?

This provides a superb balance between technical aspects of R coding and the statistical methods that motivate its use. It's rare to find a book on topics like this that are written with Kabacoff's easygoing yet precise style, which makes it ideal for beginners. From my own experience, it is obvious the author has spent many years teaching this type of content, knowing where things deserve extra explanation up front and where other more technical details can be relegated to more advanced texts.

By Robert I. Kabacoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked R in Action as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


R is a powerful language for statistical computing and graphics that can handle virtually any data-crunching task. It runs on all important platforms and provides thousands of useful specialized modules and utilities. This makes R a great way to get meaningful information from mountains of raw data.

R in Action, Second Edition is language tutorial focused on practical problems. Written by a research methodologist, it takes a direct and modular approach to quickly give readers the information they need to produce useful results. Focusing on realistic data analyses and a comprehensive integration of graphics, it follows the steps that…

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