Poor Economics: Barefoot Hedge-fund Managers, DIY Doctors and the Surprising Truth about Life on less than $1 a Day

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9780718193669: Poor Economics: Barefoot Hedge-fund Managers, DIY Doctors and the Surprising Truth about Life on less than $1 a Day

Imagine you have a few billion dollars and want to spend it on the poor. How do you go about it? Billions of government dollars, and thousands of charitable organizations and NGOs, are dedicated to helping the worlds poor. But much of their work is based on assumptions about the poor and the world that are untested generalizations at best, harmful misperceptions at worst.
Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo have pioneered the use of randomized control trials (RCTs) in development economics through their award-winning Poverty Action Lab. They argue that by using RCTs and, more generally, by paying careful attention to the evidence, it is possible to make accurate and often startling assessments on what really impacts the poor and what doesn't.
Revelatory and impassioned, Poor Economics is a pathbreaking book that will help you to understand the real causes of poverty and how to end it.

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About the Author:

Abhijit Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society and has been a Guggenheim Fellow. He has also received the inaugural Infosys Prize (2009) in Social Sciences and Economics.
Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. Duflo has received numerous academic honours and prizes including most recently the John Bates Clark Medal (2010) and a MacArthur Fellowship (2009). She has also been featured in Foreign Policys Top 100 Global Thinkers and Fortunes 40 under 40.

Review:

Amartya Sen
A marvellously insightful book by two outstanding researchers on the real nature of poverty.

Steven D. Levitt This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about world poverty.  It has been years since I read a book that taught me so much. Poor Economics represents the best that economics has to offer.  Robert Solow Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo are allergic to grand generalizations about the secret of economic development. Instead they appeal to many local observations and experiments to explore how poor people in poor countries actually cope with their poverty: what they know, what they seem (or don't seem) to want, what they expect of themselves and others, and how they make the choices that they can make. Apparently there are plenty of small but meaningful victories to be won, some through private and some through public action, that together could add up to a large gains for the world's poor, and might even start a ball rolling. I was fascinated and convinced.  Book Dwarf, February 14, 2011 They have a compelling argument that antipoverty programs can be effective if properly designed, and illustrate ways to test them to make sure they actually work. The writing style is accessible and engaging, but it s not dumbed down or over-simplified. The complexity of the subject means that this book is taking me longer to read than other books, but I ve found the effort genuinely rewarding.  Kirkus Review, April 15, 2011
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...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.  The Guardian, April 11, 2011
[Banerjee and Duflo] offer a refreshingly original take on development, and they are very aware of how they are bringing an entirely new perspective into a subject dominated by big polemics from the likes of Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly... they are clearly very clever economists and are doing a grand job to enrich their discipline's grasp of complex issues of poverty so often misunderstood by people who have never been poor.  The Economist, April 22, 2011 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 s Free Exchange Blog
, April 21, 2011
Let me recommend it... Poor Economics is more than just a compendium of the randomistas' greatest hits. For one thing, it contains some well-observed reporting.
 The Economist s Free Exchange, April 21, 2011 TO CUT to the chase: this is the best book about the lives of the poor that I have read for a very, very long time. The research is wide-ranging. Much of it is new. Above all, Banerjee and Duflo take the poorest billion people as they find them. There is no wishful thinking. --Various

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