Good Books: Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

This new book was recommended to me by a friend at our Book Club meeting recently. It doesn’t necessarily have answers on how to eliminate poverty, but provides a framework on how to go about finding solutions. The authors give results of many experiments and field trials done globally to see how the poor make decisions, which can work as inputs for anti-poverty programmes.

From the description: “Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have pioneered the use of randomized control trials in development economics. Work based on these principles, supervised by the Poverty Action Lab, is being carried out in dozens of countries. Drawing on this and their 15 years of research from Chile to India, Kenya to Indonesia, they have identified wholly new aspects of the behavior of poor people, their needs, and the way that aid or financial investment can affect their lives. Their work defies certain presumptions: that microfinance is a cure-all, that schooling equals learning, that poverty at the level of 99 cents a day is just a more extreme version of the experience any of us have when our income falls uncomfortably low.This important book illuminates how the poor live, and offers all of us an opportunity to think of a world beyond poverty.”

Also see the website –

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.