When dealing with the problem of global poverty, it should be noted that in 2005, there were 865 million people, or 13% of the world’s population at the time, living on 99 cents a day in different parts of the world. Can anyone live on that? But this is the average poverty line in the 50 countries where most of the world’s poor live in. This is the subject of the book, Poor Economics, whose authors won the Nobel Prize for Economics this year.

The behavior of poverty and the poor is confusing

Watching the situation and behavior of the poor around the world, he will find a host of exciting questions and many other tantalizing facts that are

the most surprising and astonishing thing about how to live with less than 99 cents a day from the observation and daily observations of their behavior, for example:

Do having too many children make them poorer?

Why do the poor need to borrow only to save?

Why does a man in Morocco who does not have enough food buy a TV?

Why is it so difficult for children in poor areas to learn even when they go to school?

Why do the poorest people in the Indian state of Maharashtra spend 7% of their food budgets on sugar?

Why do farmers get many fertilizers and agricultural improvements from them, but do not grow any of them?

Why don’t the poor accept free life-saving vaccinations, but they pay for the medicines they don’t need?

Poor Economics: A Book for Everyone Away from Terminology Fever

اقتصاد الفقراء

It is a set of logical questions, and it needs study and examination at the economic level, in order for us to produce a book, POOR ECONOMICS, A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Written by the economic duo, Abhijit V. Banerjee and his wife, Esther Duflo. Both are professors of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and recently won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences for their methodology to fight global poverty. An Arabic edition of the translation, “Anwar Al-Shami” has been published.

The Economics of Poverty was first published in 2010 in an attempt to enlighten and familiarize, completely far from the expectations that may accompany any economic book. It is not packed with complicated terms and graphs, to be considered one of the best popular economic books or what is known as pop-economics books, Which I read a long time ago, after breaking all these cliches, generalizations and rigid theories around which economics books usually revolve.

What makes the book interesting and attractive is its presentation of the dilemma of poverty, its complexities and gravity from a completely different perspective from all the preceding theses, which made it recommended to anyone with an interest in transcending the world to the dilemma of poverty, by providing a clear understanding on the ground of policies and well-intentioned solutions that work on the well-being of the economically poor, in which the authors say:

“Getting out of poverty is not easy, but feeling this is possible when it is accompanied by a small amount of aid directed towards its good destination, such as information or a simple stimulus, which can sometimes achieve great and surprising results.”

It has provided a vital guide for policy makers, philanthropists, activists, and anyone else interested in building a world free of poverty. It begins by creating a world free of poverty that begins with an understanding of the daily decisions facing the poor, provides a fundamental review of the economics of poverty, and a close-up picture of life at 99 cents a day, and concludes with a positive observation that we are all part of the solution.

The search for solutions to poverty among the poor alleys

The book in its entirety does not provide an analysis of the economics of poverty, but rather a report on the effectiveness of global poverty solutions, using an evidence-based randomized controlled trial approach and observation, and through rigorous randomized controlled tests on five continents, and most importantly by listening on the ground to what it says the poor.

Their methodology is based on the interpretation and treatment of the problem of global poverty by dividing it into a number of smaller – but more accurate, correct and relevant – questions at the individual or group level, then they answer each of them using a field experiment designed specifically for them.

In short, their work involves dividing and reducing this problem into several smaller, more accurate, and manageable questions, so that they are better answered by on-the-ground field experiences, carefully designed to directly target the most damaged and affected people.

On this, the duo “Banerjee” and “Duflo” say:

“We are academics, and like most academics, our job is to formulate theories and look carefully at the data. But the nature of the work we did meant that we also spent months, and over many years, working on the ground with NGO activists, government employees, health workers, and micro-creditors. This has led us to the narrow alleys where the poor live so that we can ask questions and search for data »

Through their work, the duo “Abhijit Banerjee” and “Esther Duflo” emphasize the importance of gathering information, talking to the poor, and exploring what this makes it difficult for them to increase their income, and in the meantime some case studies and great experiences are being done in an attempt to help the poor, overcoming the failures they have seen.

By carefully studying a very rich set of evidence, including the hundreds of coexistence experiments invented by “Banerjee” and “Doflo”, they explain why the poor, despite their desire and abilities like everyone else, end up with a completely different life. This all boils down to preparing people in poverty, and helping them better understand their rights, strengths, potentials and tools of life that enable them to live better. The authors stress the necessity of abandoning the habit of reducing the poor to cartoon characters, and working hard to do what we can to truly understand their lives with all their complexities and richness. Where the authors help understand how the poor really think, how to make decisions on various issues, such as: education, health care, savings, entrepreneurship and a variety of other issues, and draw some simple but powerful lessons, and believe that small changes can have major impacts, Accordingly, the authors say in the introduction to their book:

“Mostly, the economy of poverty and the economy of the poor are confused: Because the poor have little left, it is assumed that there is nothing to draw attention in their economic existence. Unfortunately, it is this misunderstanding that completely undermines the war effort on global poverty, because simple problems generate simple solutions. The course of anti-poverty policies is furnished with real-time miracles. It has been proven that they have not lived up to the real level of miracle.

الثنائي الزوجي الحائز على نوبل في الاقتصاد عن وضعهم منهجية للحد من الفقر العالمي.

What is the reason for the richness of the rich and poverty of the poor?

Here is the world when you see it with the eyes of an economic informant!

Small changes moving forward

Including a very simplified example, the very poor often under financial pressure. This leads to disbursements of spending, or attempts to make payments on outstanding debt. Let’s find lately, with the rise of shouts of entrepreneurship and support for small and medium enterprises, and the spread of microfinance campaigns – and although they were beneficial in some circumstances and had a positive impact on the formation of local companies – that many loans are directed towards paying off debts or to meet other needs that Does not include entrepreneurship. Worse yet, some of these MFIs impose high interest rates and further exacerbate the borrower’s financial position. Humans have a tendency to believe that major, fundamental changes are what achieve the most widely desired results. But the authors fully believe the opposite, improving the lives of the poor consistently and consistently by making a series of small changes, which do not require major political battles, or significantly changing financing structures, in many different areas, that contribute to solving the problem. The book provides an optimistic view of improving the lives and conditions of the poor around the world. Although there may not be big easy solutions to this problem, but there are many ways to make people’s lives better, by slowly changing the situations in which they are stuck. In general, “Poor Economics” carries a message of hope in the realm of global politics and justice that we desperately need.

Although this book is somewhat disorganized at times, it does have a great deal of sympathy for the difficulties faced by the world’s poorest people, and the amazing difficulty in trying to alleviate poverty in their lives. But let’s be fair, this is an attempt to present complex economic research to a generalized non-specialist audience. Therefore, the authors deserve thanks.

In the end, we can summarize the essence of the book “Poor Economics ” by “Abhijit Banerjee” and “Esther Duflo” on the necessity of going down the ground and dealing effectively with the poor to understand the reality of their life, with all its complications and dilemmas, so that we can solve.

If you feel hopeless about the troubled nature of poverty around the world, this is a book that gives you hope.


The poor are not getting poorer: a historical look at the global poverty situation