Who's Getting Stuck in the Poverty Trap?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poverty continues to raise questions for economists, who have differing viewpoints on its source and its solution. A new book out by two MIT Economists moves away from the question of why poverty toward looking at how poor people behave and survive. They are asking questions like, "why would a man in Morocco, who doesn’t have enough to eat, buy at television set?" and "Does having lots of children make you poorer?"


Abhijit Banerjee is a professor of economics at MIT and Esther Duflo is professor of poverty alleviation and development economics at MIT. They are co-authors of the new book, “Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight for Global Policy.”


Abhijit Banjeree and Esther Duflo

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [2]

Susan Burger from Upper West Side

I am completely disappointed in these authors. I guess there is a huge disconnect between economists and nutritionists. As far back as 1986, when I was working in Niger, tasty micronutrient rich food was being promoted by Helen Keller International. That was now 25 years ago. In Bangladesh, the Helen Keller International programs improved women's income status by helping them set up gardens, sell seeds and cutting to their neighbors. In Tanzania, a whole new industry was developed selling sweet potato pancakes. I haven't worked in International Nutrition in 12 years. It is incredibly disappointing that economists are calling the idea of tasty foods a radical improvement. Where have they been for the last 25 years?

May. 10 2011 07:59 AM
Peg from Appalcia in NY

Talk about the thriving underground black market economy, that at least in the US, is the major economy of the poor and financially struggling.

May. 10 2011 07:56 AM

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