Poor Economics

poor-economics
I finally got round to reading Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s excellent book about how the very poor make decisions about their lives. Based on the nearest we have to hard evidence, ‘Poor Economics‘ makes riveting reading and should be on every new development worker’s book list. Although there is little that will be truly revelatory to people who have been working on these issues for some time, the accessible writing style, revealing case studies, and lack of polemic all combine to make a really valuable contribution to our understanding of the challenges of hunger, education, health, micro-finance, savings, and entrepreneurship facing the poorest people on the planet. At the end of the book I was left feeling humbled and yet optimistic. The Poor Economics website is a great resource, providing up-to-date figures and useful links to relevant research documents an there is a revealing interview with Banerjee by Decca Aitkenhead of The Guardian newspaper.

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