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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

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  • Martin Ravallion

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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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 103-14

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:50:y:2012:i:1:p:103-14

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.1.103
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  1. Antman, Francisca & McKenzie, David J., 2005. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3764, The World Bank.
  2. Martin Ravallion, 2009. "Evaluation in the Practice of Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 29-53, March.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-55, June.
  4. Baird, Sarah & Mcintosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2010. "Cash or condition ? evidence from a cash transfer experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5259, The World Bank.
  5. Chen, Shaohua & Mu, Ren & Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "Are there lasting impacts of aid to poor areas?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 512-528, April.
  6. Alice Mesnard & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "The Wealth Effect on New Business Startups in a Developing Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 367-392, 08.
  7. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
  8. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. W. Bentley MacLeod, 2013. "On Economics: A Review of Why Nations Fail by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson and Pillars of Prosperity by T. Besley and T. Persson," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 116-43, March.

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