Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 ...
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Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty

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Overview


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 world’s poorest, and shows that creating a world without poverty begins with understanding the daily decisions facing the poor.

The 2011 Financial Times & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Banerjee (Making Aid Work) and Duflo (a contributor to Reinventing Foreign Aid), professors at MIT and founders of the university's Poverty Action Lab, offer answers to questions about aid: what it accomplishes, where it fails, which anti-poverty programs work and which do not, and why nine million children under the age of five die every year. Their results are often surprising, even counter-intuitive. For instance, many poorer families will concentrate their education dollars on the child they think most likely to succeed, sending that child (usually a boy) to school longer rather than spreading their education spending between all children, which might yield more in the long run. Banerjee and Duflo found evidence that relatively inexpensive improvements, such as water purification, may ultimately benefit a community more than, say, providing grain products. They also discovered that Kenyan abstinence programs encouraging school girls to marry older men resulted in an increase in HIV-AIDS, as older men are more likely to be HIV-positive. Their empirical approach differs from policy discussions that base support or criticism of aid programs on a broad overview; instead they illuminate many practicable and cost-effective ways to keep children and parents living healthier and more productive lives. An important perspective on fighting poverty. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews

Highly decorated economists Banerjee and Duflo (Economics/Massachusetts Institute of Technology) relay 15 years of research into a smart, engaging investigation of global poverty—and why we're failing to eliminate it.

Aiming to change the stigma that revolves around poverty, the authors explore not just how many find themselves in economic quicksand, but why. They suggest that policymakers, economists and philanthropists alike fail to understand the unique problems that lead to poverty; as such, attempts to eradicate it are often misguided. The poor need more than food, the authors write; they need programs that empower them with a real, fighting chance.Through a blend of on-the-ground observations, social experiments and psychological analysis, Banerjee and Duflo showcase an expansive understanding of poverty's traps and its potential solutions. They extol the virtues of such practices as microsaving and microfinance, which cut out debilitating interest rates and predatory moneylenders. But even these solutions aren't without their issues, including lack of trust in the lender and an unwillingness to take risk.The authors advocate for increased access to family planning, as family size is often a leading cause for why many are saddled with financial burden. They also investigate why many forego free or low-cost medical care or education.

A refreshingly clear, well-structured argument against the standard approach to poverty, this book, while intended for academics and those working on the ground, should provide an essential wake-up call for any reader.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610391603
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 188,306
  • File size: 592 KB

Meet the Author

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee was educated in Kolkata, Delhi and Cambridge, MA. He is currently 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 studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, and at MIT. She is a recipient of several important awards, including a MacArthur "genius" award (2009) and the John Bates Clark medal awarded annually to the best American economist under forty (2010). In 2003, Banerjee and Duflo co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), which they continue to direct.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Worth every penny and good to own as a reference

    There isn't a single line of filler in this book. Intuitively -organized and well-written, all the information and alalysis in here is extremely interesting and clear even to those not familiar with economics or international development. The vast majority of studies cited in this book are not only cited but linked, making this a must for those who want to specifics, methodologies and figures beyond the more-than-adequate amount provided here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    After decades of effort, billions of dollars, thousands of aid w

    After decades of effort, billions of dollars, thousands of aid workers and hundreds of antipoverty programs, 865 million people still barely survive on the equivalent of less than a dollar a day. But that can change, one small clinic, one incentive and one schoolroom at a time according to this eye-opening work – The Financial Times/Goldman Sachs’ business book of the year for 2011. Authors and MIT economic researchers Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo report field-tested experiments showing that lifting the world’s poor into a more comfortable, productive life is possible, mostly with relatively simple changes, not masses of money. They call for understanding the human behaviors and motivations that drive all people, rich and poor alike, and apply that understanding to solving the seemingly overwhelming, intractable problem of global poverty. getAbstract strongly recommends this highly accessible yet scientific account of how to make life better for millions of people, while enabling the poor to contribute to the world’s economic and social progress.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 5, 2012

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    Posted October 26, 2012

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    Posted April 11, 2012

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