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Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Povertyby Abhijit Banerjee
Synopses & Reviews
Billions of government dollars, and thousands of charitable organizations and NGOs, are dedicated to helping the world's poor. But much of their work is based on assumptions that are untested generalizations at best, harmful misperceptions at worst.
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have pioneered the use of randomized control trials in development economics. Work based on these principles, supervised by the Poverty Action Lab, is being carried out in dozens of countries. Drawing on this and their 15 years of research from Chile to India, Kenya to Indonesia, they have identified wholly new aspects of the behavior of poor people, their needs, and the way that aid or financial investment can affect their lives. Their work defies certain presumptions: that microfinance is a cure-all, that schooling equals learning, that poverty at the level of 99 cents a day is just a more extreme version of the experience any of us have when our income falls uncomfortably low.
This important book illuminates how the poor live, and offers all of us an opportunity to think of a world beyond poverty.
Learn more at www.pooreconomics.com
From the award-winning founders of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT: A transformative reappraisal of the world of the extreme poor, their lives, desires, and frustrations
A marvelously insightful book by two outstanding researchers on the real nature of poverty.” —Amartya Sen
Why do the poor borrow to save? Why do they miss out on free life-saving immunizations, but pay for unnecessary drugs? In Poor Economics, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two practical visionaries working toward ending world poverty, answer these questions from the ground. In a book the Wall Street Journal called marvelous, rewarding,” the authors tell how the stress of living on less than 99 cents per day encourages the poor to make questionable decisions that feed—not fight—poverty. The result is a radical rethinking of the economics of poverty that offers a ringside view of the lives of the worlds poorest, and shows that creating a world without poverty begins with understanding the daily decisions facing the poor.
About the Author
Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including most recently the inaugural Infosys Prize in 2009, and has been an honorary advisor to many organizations including the World Bank and the Government of India.
Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. She is a recipient of the MacArthur “genius” award (2009) and the John Bates Clark medal awarded annually to the best American economist under forty (2012). In 2003, Banerjee and Duflo cofounded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), which they continue to direct.
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