A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Public Affairs, 2011
What really works in alleviating poverty?
For more than fifteen years Abhijit V. Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, and Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, have worked in dozens of countries spanning five continents, trying to understand the specific problems that come with poverty and to find proven solutions. Through a careful analysis of a very rich body of evidence, including the hundreds of randomized control trials that Banerjee and Duflo’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) has pioneered, they show why the poor, despite having the same desires and abilities as anyone else, end up with entirely different lives.
Poor Economics argues that so much of anti-poverty policy has failed over the years because of an inadequate understanding of poverty. The battle against poverty can be won, they argue, but it will take patience, careful thinking, and a willingness to learn from evidence. The work of Banerjee and Duflo offers transformative potential for poor people anywhere, and this volume is a vital guide to policy makers, philanthropists, activists, and anyone else who cares about building a world without poverty.
“A marvellously insightful book by two outstanding researchers on the real nature of poverty.”
—Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University and winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics
“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.”
—Steven D. Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and author of Freakonomics
Poor Economics website
Abhijit Banerjee's website
Esther Duflo's website
Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab website