A RADICAL RETHINKING
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This book comes from the founders of the Abdul Latfi Jameel Poverty Action Laboratory at MIT, a reappraisal of the world of the extreme poor, their lives, desires and frustrations. This book seeks to describe how billions of dollars, and thousands of charitable organizations and NGOs are dedicated to helping the world's poor. But much of the work they do is based on assumptions that are untested generalizations at best, flat out harmful misperceptions at worst. Banerjee and Duflo have made the use of randomized control trials in development economics. Work based on these principles is being carried out in dozens of countries. Drawing on this and their 15 years of research from Chile to India, Kenya to Indonesia, they have identified new aspects of the behavior of poor people, their needs, and the way that aid or financial investment can affect their lives. Throughout, the authors emphasize that life for the poor is simply not like life for everyone else. The daily stress of poverty discourages long-term thinking and often leads to bad decision-making. Add to that the fact the poor are routinely denied the information that might help them manage the nightmarish predicament that in most cases they are born into through no fault of their own. Bannerjee and Duflo are visionaries whose meticulous work aims to offer an opportunity to think of a world beyond poverty.