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Module Reading List

Applied Economics, 2019/20, Semester 1
Dr Quentin Outram
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

There is no single text-book for this module. 

There is no need to purchase any of the books mentioned below.


There are a number of excellent short books which will help you to develop your critical abilities in the area covered by this module. The classic How to Lie with Statistics, originally published in 1954, is available in a number of different editions, one of which is:

Darrell Huff, How to Lie with Statistics, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1991.

A sequel has been written by:

Joel Best, Damned Lies and Statistics : Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2001. Updated edition, 2012.

There are two other more recent books covering the same kind of ground.  Both have excellent examples and neither of them are difficult:

Charles Wheelan, Naked Statistics : Stripping the Dread from the Data, W. W. Norton & Co, 2013, (paperback, 2014) and:

Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot, The tiger that isn't : seeing through a world of numbers, Profile Books, 2008.

Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Science is exemplary but mainly orientated to the medical sciences. Nevertheless his critical approach to statistics is exactly what I'm trying to teach in this module:

Ben Goldacre, Bad Science, Harper Perennial, London, 2009.

There is a website attached to this book which will give you a clear idea of what the book is like and which contains additional resources at  It also contains a link to Ben Goldacre's TED Talk.  Watching this is one of the best ways to spend fifteen minutes you will ever get.

Goldacre’s 2015 book I Think You’ll Find It’s a Bit More Complicated than That, Fourth Estate, is a collection of his journalism.  It is well worth dipping into.  I recommend the article ‘Gun’s don’t kill people, puppies do’ on pp. 49-51, particularly if you are in the habit of reading the Daily Express

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More Specific

The following text will be useful at various points in the module:

A. Griffiths & S. Wall, Applied Economics (10th edition), Pearson Education, 2004, or

A. Griffiths & S. Wall, Applied Economics (11th edition), Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2007, or

A. Griffiths & S. Wall, Applied Economics (12th edition), Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2011, £61.99.

This is available in the Library and in view of the extraordinary price the publishers want for it I do not recommend that you buy it. (Though you could try going for a discounted or second-hand copy at or .) The 2011 edition doesn’t differ hugely from the 2007 and the 2007 edition doesn't differ hugely from the 2004, and you’ll often find the 2007 or 2004 editions easier to get hold of in the Library.

Morten Jerven’s Poor Numbers : How We are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It, Cornell University Press, 2013, was the publishing sensation of the decade in this field and is essential reading if you are doing any of the topics involving poor economies.


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Particular Topics

Reading Lists on the particular topics discussed in the lectures will be distributed in the lectures.


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Tables and Graphs 

Both the following are very useful but give you more than you need at this point in your degree programme; sample, skip and select:

Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (2nd edition), Graphics Press, 2001

Stephen Few, Show Me the Numbers : Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Analytics Press, 2012.

This list was last updated on 21/08/2019