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

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Overview


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

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Overview


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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A refreshingly original take on development.”
The Guardian

“In an engrossing new book they draw on some intrepid research and a store of personal anecdotes to illuminate the lives of the 865m people who, at the last count, live on less than $0.99 a day.”
The Economist

“[Poor Economics] provides an inspirational audio recommended for any economics or nonfiction audio library.”
Midwest Book Review

“Narrator Brian Holsopple’s nicely paced, steady reading conveys world poverty in a unique manner and is highly recommended for all university libraries.”
Library Journal [starred review]

Midwest Book Review
“[Poor Economics] provides an inspirational audio recommended for any economics or nonfiction audio library.”
Midwest Book Review
Library Bookwatch

“A smart, engaging investigation of global poverty and why we’re failing to eliminate.”
Kirkus Review
Forbes.com
“Compelling and important. . . . An honest . . . account about the poor that stands a chance of actually yielding results.”
Forbes.com
The New York Times
“Excellent. . . . Move[s] the debate to the crucial question: What kind of aid works best?”
The New York Times
Wall Street Journal

“Compelling and important. . . . An honest . . . account about the poor that stands a chance of actually yielding results.”
Forbes.com
Financial Times

“Excellent. . . . Move[s] the debate to the crucial question: What kind of aid works best?”
The New York Times
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Marvelous, rewarding. . . . The sheer detail and warm sympathy on display reflects a true appreciation of the challenges their subjects face. . . . They have fought to establish a beachhead of honesty and rigor about evidence, evaluation and complexity in an aid world that would prefer to stick to glossy brochures and celebrity photo-ops.”
The Wall Street Journal
Financial World (UK)

“It is the rich and humane portrayal of the lives of the very poor that most impresses.”
Financial Times
Fast Company

“Gloriously instructive.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Guardian

“Reads like a version of Freakonomics for the poor.”
Fast Company
The Economist
“In an engrossing new book they draw on some intrepid research and a store of personal anecdotes to illuminate the lives of the 865m people who, at the last count, live on less than $0.99 a day.”
The Economist
Wall Street Journal
“Marvelous, rewarding. . . . The sheer detail and warm sympathy on display reflects a true appreciation of the challenges their subjects face. . . . They have fought to establish a beachhead of honesty and rigor about evidence, evaluation and complexity in an aid world that would prefer to stick to glossy brochures and celebrity photo-ops.”
The New York Times
“Excellent. . . . Move[s] the debate to the crucial question: What kind of aid works best?”
The Economist
“In an engrossing new book they draw on some intrepid research and a store of personal anecdotes to illuminate the lives of the 865m people who, at the last count, live on less than $0.99 a day.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Gloriously instructive.”
The Guardian
“A refreshingly original take on development.”
Financial Times
“It is the rich and humane portrayal of the lives of the very poor that most impresses.”
Fast Company
“Reads like a version of Freakonomics for the poor.”
Forbes.com
“Compelling and important. . . . An honest . . . account about the poor that stands a chance of actually yielding results.”
Financial World (UK)
“Incisive, scientific, compelling and very accessible.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611747515
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged; 11.5 hours
  • Pages: 660
  • Sales rank: 1,528,099
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


After working in the radio/production field for fifteen years, BRIAN HOLSOPPLE has been a full-time voiceover artist for well over a decade. In addition to audiobooks, he has done work for The Discovery Channel, the FBI, the US Army, and others. He is the voice of Thomas Jefferson in the official Park Service program at the Mount Rushmore National Monument.
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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

1 Think Again, Again 1

Part I Private Lives

2 A Billion Hungry People? 19

3 Low-Hanging Fruit for Better (Global) Health? 41

4 Top of the Class 71

5 PakSudarno's Big Family 103

Part II Institutions

6 Barefoot Hedge-Fund Managers 133

7 The Men from Kabul and the Eunuchs of India: The (Not So) Simple Economics of Lending to the Poor 157

8 Saving Brick by Brick 183

9 Reluctant Entrepreneurs 205

10 Policies, Politics 235

In Place of a Sweeping Conclusion 267

Acknowledgments 275

Notes 277

Index 295

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thought provoking.

    I bought Poor Economics on a whim and it turned out to be a thought-provoking, balanced argument. It makes economics personally and morally relevant.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS

    Economics put economic theory to the test wuth scientific randomized trials. Some surprising outcomes. A hopeful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted March 16, 2012

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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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    Posted January 8, 2013

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