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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 50 No. 1 (March 2012)

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Fighting Poverty One Experiment at a Time: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty: Review Essay

Article Citation

Ravallion, Martin. 2012. "Fighting Poverty One Experiment at a Time: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty: Review Essay." Journal of Economic Literature, 50(1): 103-14.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.1.103

Abstract

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo offer a coherent vision for an economics of poverty and antipoverty policy. Their economics is grounded in an effort to understand the economic and psychological complexities in the lives of poor people, informed by social experiments and field observations. Their preferred policies entail small reforms at the margin, also informed by experiments—specifically randomized control trials. While the book provides some interesting insights, I question how far its approach will get us in fighting global poverty. (JEL I32, I38, O15, P36)

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Authors

Ravallion, Martin (World Bank)

JEL Classifications

I32: Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
I38: Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
P36: Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions: Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training: Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty


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