Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Dayby Daryl Collins
Pub. Date: 12/19/2010
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Nearly forty percent of humanity lives on an average of two dollars a day or less. If you've never had to survive on an income so small, it is hard to imagine. How would you put food on the table, afford a home, and educate your children? How would you handle emergencies and old age? Every day, more than a billion people around the world must answer these questions
Nearly forty percent of humanity lives on an average of two dollars a day or less. If you've never had to survive on an income so small, it is hard to imagine. How would you put food on the table, afford a home, and educate your children? How would you handle emergencies and old age? Every day, more than a billion people around the world must answer these questions. Portfolios of the Poor is the first book to systematically explain how the poor find solutions to their everyday financial problems.
The authors conducted year-long interviews with impoverished villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africarecords that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money. The stories of these families are often surprising and inspiring. Most poor households do not live hand to mouth, spending what they earn in a desperate bid to keep afloat. Instead, they employ financial tools, many linked to informal networks and family ties. They push money into savings for reserves, squeeze money out of creditors whenever possible, run sophisticated savings clubs, and use microfinancing wherever available. Their experiences reveal new methods to fight poverty and ways to envision the next generation of banks for the "bottom billion."
Indispensable for those in development studies, economics, and microfinance, Portfolios of the Poor will appeal to anyone interested in knowing more about poverty and what can be done about it.
- Princeton University Press
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- New Edition
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Table of Contents
List of Tables vii
List of Figures ix
Chapter 1 The Portfolios of the Poor 1
Chapter 2 The Daily Grind 28
Chapter 3 Dealing with Risk 65
Chapter 4 Building Blocks: Creating Usefully Large Sums 95
Chapter 5 The Price of Money 132
Chapter 6 Rethinking Microfinance: The Grameen II Diaries 154
Chapter 7 Better Portfolios 174
Appendix 1 The Story behind the Portfolios 185
Appendix 2 A Selection of Portfolios 211
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This book is exactly what it should be if it is intended for serious students or analysts developing policies. I enjoyed it, but it could profit by a parallel book for non-policy analysts. That book could show the conclusions, with a lot less discussion of the methodology used. That book could be about 1/3 the length of this one.