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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

  • Martin Ravallion

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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jel.50.1.103
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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. Francisca Antman & David McKenzie, 2007. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1057-1083.
  2. Alice Mesnard & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "The Wealth Effect on New Business Startups in a Developing Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 367-392, 08.
  3. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
  4. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk �zler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
  5. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, randomization, and learning about development," Working Papers 1224, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  6. Martin Ravallion, 2009. "Evaluation in the Practice of Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 29-53, March.
  7. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
  8. Chen, Shaohua & Mu, Ren & Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "Are there lasting impacts of aid to poor areas?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 512-528, April.
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