Big Questions and Poor Economics: Banerjee and Duflo on Schooling in Developing Countries
AbstractIn Poor Economics, MIT professors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo set out their solutions for global poverty. Their key premise is that development experts have been sidetracked by the “big questions” of development, such as the role of government and the role of aid. This approach, they say, should be eschewed in favour of adopting carefully tested “small steps” to improvement. The book ranges widely, covering topics such as food, health, family planning and microfinance. Here I treat only their arguments on education in developing countries. Poor Economics points to evidence that shows that governments have not been successful in bringing quality education to the poor. Nevertheless, the authors bring their own big-think judgments to suggest why, despite the evidence, governmentally owned and operated schooling should remain central. Part of their own evidence concerns how private schooling, including for the poor, is burgeoning and outperforming government schooling. But private education cannot be the solution, they argue, because private schooling is not as efficient as it could be. The problems identified by Banerjee and Duflo are, however, clearly caused by bad public policy. I suggest that development economists are quite justified in forming and exercising judgment on the big questions, and that when they do exercise such judgment they should be aware that they are doing so.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.
Volume (Year): 9 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Education; private schools; private education; development; developing countries;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- O19 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James Tooley, 2007. "Educating Amaretch: Private Schools For The Poor And The New Frontier For Investors," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 37-43, 06.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jason Briggeman) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Jason Briggeman to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.