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Daniel Hamermesh's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Daniel Hamermesh recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Daniel Hamermesh's favorite book recommendations of all time.

From the author of EXPECTING BETTER, an economist's guide to the early years of parenting

With EXPECTING BETTER, award-winning economist Emily Oster spotted a need in the pregnancy market for advice that gave women the information they needed to make the best decision for their own pregnancies. By digging into the data, Oster found that much of the conventional pregnancy wisdom was wrong. In CRIBSHEET, she now tackles an even great challenge: decision making in the early years of parenting.

As any new parent knows, there is an abundance of often-conflicting advice...
Recommended by Daniel Hamermesh, and 1 others.

Daniel Hamermeshthe book is an easy-reading, but evidence-based guide for prospective and new parents. (Source)

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The Economy

Economics for a changing world

In 2014, when we published the first beta of The Economy online, Camila Cea provided a preface. At the time, she was a recent economics graduate, but already a veteran of a successful protest movement in Chile that was advocating policies to advance economic justice. She and her fellow students at the University of Chile had been shocked to discover their economics courses addressed none of their concerns about the problems of Chile’s economy. They demanded changes in the curriculum. The director of the School of Economics and Business at the time, Oscar Landerretche, responded to their... more
Recommended by Daniel Hamermesh, and 1 others.

Daniel HamermeshIt represents a revolutionary approach to introductory economics that draws the reader into the subject. It is catching on widely and will affect economic thinking in the population as a whole for a long time. (Source)

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The Harried Leisure Class

Recommended by Daniel Hamermesh, and 1 others.

Daniel HamermeshThis is a wonderful book. It’s a popularisation of an article that Gary Becker published in The Economic Journal in 1965, called “A Theory of the Allocation of Time”. The idea of that article, which I think is one of the great papers in economics, was that we have a certain amount of time, and we have a certain amount of money. We can trade part of that time to make more money, but if we do that,... (Source)

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Cinnamon Bay Plantation was the ideal Caribbean island getaway--or so it seemed. But for distinguished Harvard economist Henry Spearman it offered diversion of a decidedly different sort and one he'd hardly anticipated: murder.

While the island police force is mired in an investigation that leads everywhere and nowhere, the diminutive, balding Spearman, who likes nothing better than to train his curiosity on human behavior, conducts an investigation of his own, one governed by rather different laws--those of economics. Theorizing and hypothesizing, Spearman sets himself on the...
Recommended by Daniel Hamermesh, and 1 others.

Daniel HamermeshI chose this partly for personal reasons. First of all, as you probably guessed, the author’s name is not a real person. It’s two guys who were buddies in graduate school and got together and wrote this. I also like it because it takes place in St John, USVI, which is where I spent my honeymoon. In fact, it takes place at the same resort, which was the only place there at the time. Finally, I... (Source)

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Big-Time Sports in American Universities

For almost a century, big-time college sports has been a wildly popular but consistently problematic part of American higher education. The challenges it poses to traditional academic values have been recognized from the start, but they have grown more ominous in recent decades, as cable television has become ubiquitous, commercial opportunities have proliferated, and athletic budgets have ballooned. Drawing on new research findings, this book takes a fresh look at the role of commercial sports in American universities. It shows that, rather than being the inconsequential student activity... more
Recommended by Daniel Hamermesh, and 1 others.

Daniel HamermeshIt’s fun because large numbers of people in this country, myself, to a small extent, included, enjoy sports. The second thing is that the US is unique in that the training grounds for professional athletes are, and have increasingly become, universities. No other country in the world has universities that also train professional athletes. What’s the economics of this? Who pays for it? What about... (Source)

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Cutting for Stone

A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics—their passion for the...
Recommended by Barack Obama, Daniel Hamermesh, and 2 others.

Barack ObamaAs a devoted reader, the president has been linked to a lengthy list of novels and poetry collections over the years. (Source)

Daniel HamermeshThis novel from a decade ago should be read by every American interested in immigration. While it deals with a lot of medical details, the essence of it is about urban life in developing countries and about the immigrant experience. It is both moving and thought-provoking. (Source)

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Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
    A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for...
Recommended by Steve Schmidt, Daniel Hamermesh, and 2 others.

Steve Schmidt@egayle333 Ellyn, with respect Hitler was always clear about his intent. A great book to read from a US perspective is In the Garden of Beasts. Trump is much more analogous to Mussolini. (Source)

Daniel HamermeshAt a time of increased danger of totalitarianism in the U.S., reading a history of an insider’s view of its growth in Germany in the 1930s gives a good perspective on our contemporary problems, as well as being fascinating history and biography in its own right. (Source)

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The Worldly Philosophers

The Worldly Philosophers not only enables us to see more deeply into our history but helps us better understand our own times. In this seventh edition, Robert L. Heilbroner provides a new theme that connects thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The theme is the common focus of their highly varied ideas—namely, the search to understand how a capitalist society works. It is a focus never more needed than in this age of confusing economic headlines.
In a bold new concluding chapter entitled “The End of the Worldly Philosophy?” Heilbroner reminds us that the word “end”...

Erik Brynjolfsson@AndrewWLo @DianeCoyle1859 Great book. I read it in high school and it kind of turned into an economist (Source)

Heidi N. Moore@VarickBoyd @JeSuisBHL Ah well, I thought you were a veteran of this world, my error. Enjoy the book! It's fantastic. (Source)

Andrew W LoThis book really opened my eyes to the fact that there’s some very deep and beautiful logic underlying the economy, and financial markets and institutions especially. (Source)

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Moneyball is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the front offices of major league teams and the dugouts, perhaps even in the minds of the players themselves. Michael Lewis mines all these possibilities - his intimate and original portraits of big league ballplayers are alone worth the price of admission - but the real jackpot is a cache of numbers - numbers! - collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software... more

Carol DweckYou would think that the relationship between training and skill would be utterly obvious in sports, but apparently it isn’t. (Source)

David PapineauIt’s a parable of the disinclination of people in general to base their practices on evidence, a parable for evidence-based policy in general. (Source)

Ed SmithThis is about a guy using econometrics to predict which baseball players will do better in advancing wins, a remarkable use of economic thinking. (Source)

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