Article Review: Poor Economics A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Public Affairs

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In their 2011 publication, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Public Affairs,” economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo put forth over fifteen years of data to better paint a picture of the behavior of poor people around the world. Being that I tend to have a rather strong interest in behavioral economics, yet a liking for strong empirical facts, I found their work to be very attention-grabbing and eye opening. In my opinion, the authors did a wonderful job presenting practical solutions to the world’s poverty issues, while at the same time, taking a more “radical” approach to keep readers hooked. With that being said however, the books main focus was to examine the macro effects of the billions of dollars that get pumped into improvised countries each year. When reading their work, I found it quite interesting how the two authors took a more micro approach to dealing with poverty. They revealed how each year, billions of dollars, and thousands of charities are committed to helping the poor around the world. However, much of their work is based on mathematical assumptions that are often misinterpretations of the reality that exists within these counties. To combat this issue, Banerjee and Duflo used a more hands on approach which involved the use of randomized trials in developing countries. From what we have learned in class this semester, I feel that Banerjee and Duflo are justified in taking this approach. By actually going into these countries and seeing how they live day to day life, as they did, actual progress can be made. After reading their 2011 publication, it is clear that Banerjee and Duflo have a very strong passion for helping developing countries alleviate their poverty issues. From their book, I gathered that they are firm believes that the battle against poverty can be won, but it is going to require a lot of time and patience. Although I do agree with them that the...
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