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

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Description


The winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics upend the most common assumptions about how economics works in this gripping and disruptive portrait of how poor people actually live.

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 award-winning MIT professors, answer these questions based on years of field research from around the world. Called "marvelous, rewarding" by the Wall Street Journal, the book offers a radical rethinking of the economics of poverty and an intimate view of life on 99 cents a day. Poor Economics shows that creating a world without poverty begins with understanding the daily decisions facing the poor.

About the Author


Abhijit Banerjee, winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). In 2011, he was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers. Banerjee served on the U.N. Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Esther Duflo, winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Duflo is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, and has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences (2015), the Infosys Prize (2014), the Dan David Prize (2013), a John Bates Clark Medal (2010), and a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship (2009). Duflo is a member of the President's Global Development Council and a Founding Editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and is currently the editor of the American Economic Review. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Praise For…


By the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics-

Winner of the Financial Times/ Goldman Sachs Best Business Book of the Year
-

"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. For this they deserve to be congratulated--and to be read."
The Wall Street Journal

"Fascinating and captivating. Their work reads like a version of Freakonomics for the poor. There are insights into fighting global poverty from the remarkable and vital perspective of those whom we profess to serve. They remind us, I think, of our shared humanity and how at some fundamental levels we really do think alike."
Fast Company

"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. The attitude is straightforward and honest, occasionally painfully so. And some of the conclusions are surprising, even disconcerting."
The Economist

"A compelling and important read... An honest and readable account about the poor that stands a chance of actually yielding results."
Forbes.com

"Duflo and Banerjee tell these stories (of their randomised control trials) in a lovely new book called Poor Economics. As they admit, randomistas cannot answer some big questions--how to tackle food prices, for instance. But through lots of microstudies, they make a subtle case for one big argument: aid really can help poor people, provided the money follows the evidence."
The Guardian

"The ingenuity of these experiments aside, it is the rich and humane portrayal of the lives of the very poor that most impresses. Both books show how those in poverty make sophisticated calculations in the grimmest of circumstances. Books such as these offer a better path forward. They are surely an experiment worth pursuing."
Financial Times

"Randomized trials are the hottest thing in the fight against poverty, and two excellent new books have just come out by leaders in the field. One is Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. These terrific books move the debate to the crucial question: What kind of aid works best?"
The New York Times

"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."
Publishers Weekly

"Here's something Jesus might recommend: Reading the clear, calm and revelatory book Poor Economics from Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. It is gloriously instructive, and bracing testimony in itself to the gold standard of the Enlightenment: the scientific method. The authors, both economists at MIT, spent 15 years in the field, running randomized controlled trials to test various approaches to combating poverty. They bring both rigor and humility to a predicament typically riven by ideology and blowhards."
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"This new book by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo eschews the ideology of both the right and the left, and focuses on what measurable evidence has to say about the often-conflicting myths that dominate discussion of international development. The book is unusual, perhaps unique, in that the authors took a lot of time to talk to poor people about what they think and what they want."
Vancouver Sun

"Fact-based, actionable and totally unforgettable insights on the fight to help the poor help themselves"
Seth Godin (blog)

"Banerjee and Duflo assemble a fascinating assortment of interventions from across the globe in their book...It is engaging and informative — which is more than can be said for many books of this genre."
Business World (India)

"This is a welcome shift in methodology as it implicitly concedes the need to combine social science with hard economics."
IndianExpress.com

"It vividly, sensitively and rigorously brings alive the dilemmas of the poor as economic agents in a variety of contexts, whether as consumers or risk-takers. There are splendid chapters on a variety of topics that affect the poor: food, health, education, savings, micro-credit, insurance, risk and even some cursory observations on political behaviour."
Outlook India

"A remarkable work: incisive, scientific, compelling and very accessible, a must-read for advocates and opponents of international aid alike, for interested laymen and dedicated academics. Amartya Sen, fellow Nobel Prize winner Robert Solow and superstar economics author Steven Levitt wholeheartedly endorse this book. I urge you to read it. It will help shape the debate in development economics."
Financial World (UK)

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

"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

"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."
Robert Solow
Product Details
ISBN: 9781610390934
ISBN-10: 1610390938
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: March 27th, 2012
Pages: 320
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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