Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Recommendations

If anyone has recommendations for recently released books that they think would be indispensable reading for the type of people that read this blog, please post them in the comments section. An old list of mine is linked here Others have given recommendations such as Economic Gangsters by Fisman and Miguel (thanks Rob), the Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Pickett (mentioned by Kevin), Microeconometrics Using STATA by Cameron and Trivedi, and Mostly Harmless Econometrics (people here even have bloody t-shirts for that one).


Kevin Denny said...

Careful, I am not saying I recommend The Spirit Level. It makes big claims about health & inequality which need to be carefully evaluated. But I haven't looked at it yet. The reviews I read were mostly by journalists (not equipped to evaluate complex arguments) and people who would probably be ideologically well disposed to the basic thesis (likewise). The only review by an academic that I saw & which addressed the quality of the evidence, was by John Kay in the FT who was much more circumspect.

Liam Delaney said...

yes, i clarify that you were not recommending the book. having said that you do probably agree that its central thesis is one that merits debate.

David Madden said...

For a recent academic review of the health-inequality relationship there is an article by Leigh, Jencks and Smeeding in the Oxford Handbook of Inequality which does a fairly comprehensive examination of the empirical evidence and is quite sceptical about the type of claims made by Wilkinson et al. They suggest that the data don't support the relationship, or where there is some support, the effect is small.

Mark McG said...

The authors were in Dublin in June. I was at a talk they gave which was very interesting, although I think they'd acknowledge themselves that it's difficult to come up with hard causal evidence in this area. They were later
on Vincent Browne (not sure if this link is still working). The slides from their presentation are available

Kevin Denny said...

And I bet that Leigh, Jencks and Smeeding has probably got less than 1% of the press coverage. Still, what would they know?