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Big data, bad prophets and Brian Cox: An interview with Tim Harford

The economist gives his view on the UK housing crisis, big data and how economists’ reputations rise and fall

By Josh Lowe  

“I never understand why ‘economist makes forecast’ is ever news”: Tim Harford.  ©PopTech

What are the limits of big data? Should we take economic forecasts seriously? And why should economists be more like dentists? I spoke to writer and broadcaster Tim Harford, ahead of his talk with Prospect this Thursday in association with Little, Brown, about these and other quandries. Harford is the author of a weekly Financial Times column, five books including the bestselling The Undercover Economist, and is the presenter of Radio 4 series More or Less. By peering beneath…

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