Poor Economics - A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty -
Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT.
Esther Duflo is Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT.
Available online at: http://bit.ly/g2WlJo
“….Poor.Economics is a book about the very rich economics that emerges from understanding the economic lives of the poor. It is a book about the kinds of theories that help us make sense of both what the poor are able to achieve and where, and for what reason, they need a push.
Each chapter in this book describes a search to discover what these sticking points are, and how they can be overcome. We open with the essential aspects of people’s family lives: what they buy; what they do about their children’s schooling, their own health, or that of their children or parents; how many children they choose to have; and so on.
Then we go on to describe how markets and institutions work for the poor: Can they borrow, save, insure themselves against the risks they face? What do governments do for them, and when do they fail them? Throughout, the book returns to the same basic questions. Are there ways for the poor to improve their lives, and what is preventing them from being able to do these things? Is it more the cost of getting started, or is it easy to get started but harder to continue? What makes it costly? Do people sense the nature of the benefits? If not, what makes it hard for them to learn them?
Poor Economics is ultimately about what the lives and choices of the poor tell us about how to fight global poverty. It helps us understand, for example, why microfinance is useful without being the miracle some hoped it would be; why the poor often end up with health care that does them more harm than good; why children of the poor can go to school year after year and not learn anything; why the poor don’t want health insurance; and it reveals why so many magic bullets of yesterday have ended up as today’s failed ideas.
The book also tells a lot about where hope lies: why token subsidies might have more than token effects; how to better market insurance; why less may be more in education; why good jobs matter for growth. Above all, it makes clear why hope is vital and knowledge critical, why we have to keep on trying even when the challenge looks overwhelming. Success isn’t always as far away as it looks….”
Teaching the Book
“…..This book grew, in part, out of years of teaching undergraduates and graduate students at MIT and elsewhere, and we hope that it can be used to support learning at various levels.
In the spring of 2011, we have been using the book for two courses: one, Challenges for World Poverty, an introductory course for students who do not have a background in economics. This course is a mix of lecture and discussion. Students read the book, as well as other papers, and they answer essay questions about the issues that they learn about. The second course, Foundations of Development Policies, is for advanced undergraduates and masters students.
These materials include the lecture notes, assignments, and videos used throughout the course. …. ‘
* * *
This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is part of an effort to disseminate
information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality in health; Socioeconomic
health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics; Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;
Information Technology - Virtual libraries; Research & Science issues. [DD/ KMC Area]
“Materials provided in this electronic list are provided "as is". Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings
and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors and not necessarily of The Pan American
Health Organization PAHO/WHO or its country members”.
Equity List - Archives - Join/remove: http://listserv.paho.org/Archives/equidad.html
IMPORTANT: This transmission is for use by the intended
recipient and it may contain privileged, proprietary or
confidential information. If you are not the intended
recipient or a person responsible for delivering this
transmission to the intended recipient, you may not
disclose, copy or distribute this transmission or take
any action in reliance on it. If you received this transmission
in error, please dispose of and delete this transmission.