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The book which is chosen and will be reviewed in this assignment is which was written by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Dufloin the year 2011. The book involves the discussion of the lives of the poor people in developing countries and regarding the decisions that are being made by them about their health, consumption of food, family size, education and financial matters. The authors have claimed and argued that the poor people are not irrational; but they are more rational as they tend to live happily with little amount of resources. The main ideas of the book will be summarized and discussions made by other researchers will also be reflected.
The poor people remain poor in developing countries due to the hot climate and various diseases through which people suffer. They get stuck in a poverty trap and to take them out of this trap; the government officials must invest in developing poor regions. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Dufloin reviewed that poor people can find out the better ways to solve their problems related to poverty.
Income is considered the main determinant of calorie intake and food consumption; but the authors of this book argued that income is not the significant determinant of malnutrition within the developing countries. The authors have researched that there is no poverty trap; especially in terms of hunger and consumption of the nutrition. The very poor people can also easily eat as much nutrition as they want to become physically productive; but they do not do this and eventually end up spending their savings in other unnecessary things such as consumption of alcohol, etc.
Many researchers have founded that the poor people lack money to manage their health conditions and beat diseases as do not have the necessary amount of funds for visiting doctors. This eventually causes various health problems among the poor people. On the contrary to these views, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Dufloin have shown up the real story which involves that some of the healthcare technologies are very cheap and can be affordable even by the poor people (Abhijit and Banerjee, 2013).
To investigate in-depth about whether the people are in the poverty trap or not, education is another social determinant that can be used for this kind of investigation. By using this social sector/ social determinant, the authors have investigated that the problems faced by poor people in education does not get solved by merely investing money in building schools, providing textbooks and other materials to other students and hiring teachers (Davis, 2013).
Other than the above discussed and explored ideas, this book further determined another issue of institutional environment which shape the beliefs of the poor people and their respective decisions regarding the main ideas of food consumption, education and health. With the context of this issue, the authors have argued that the bad institutions make poor people to become much poor due to lack of effective institutional policies. Both the authors of this book have identified that in many cases, the opinions and views of poor people are being neglected or their views are not being paid much attention to what they feel, what they say and what they do. In consideration to this issue, the authors have suggested about bringing the poor people’s opinions and thoughts back in the designing process of policies relating to institutions, health, education and food consumption. The careful thinking and persistence is considered as the best solution to fight the battle against poverty (Abhijit and Banerjee, 2013).
While discussing about the poor people, the authors have demonstrated their views towards the middle class people and extremely poor people who seek for the path of prosperity by encouraging their children to get the high salaried government job and not by the small business. While analysing the aspect of financial risk, the authors have denoted in the book that the extreme poor people do not get majorly affected by the regional economic disruptions as they impact the general economy because the extreme poor people already live on the absolute margin (Ziliak et al., 2016).
The book has further indicated that the poor people are forced to rely heavily on the fluctuating sources of income such as day labour work and working in non-irrigated farms. High level of stress among poor people is considered as the psychological effect of the financial risks through which the poor people struggle at the constant level. In order to develop strategies, the government officials of poor countries consider family planning as the central component (Davis, 2013). The authors have pointed out that the high fertility rates must be easily addressed by creating the stronger social safety nets instead of addressing the high fertility by changing the dynamics of families. This could reduce the incentive for those parents who have larger families.
According to the opinions of Sheehy-Skeffington and Haushofer (2014) the chosen book is a must-read book for every person who want to gain in-depth knowledge and learning about the global poverty. The book involved critical literature on the development of economics for investigating the complex and multi-faceted lives of the poor people; along with evaluating the impact of policies. The Nobel Prize winner for Economics, Robert Solow reflected that the authors of this book have demonstrated the secret of the economic development. He was highly fascinated and convinced about the local observations and experiments that have been explored in respect to the poor people and the ways in which they could cope up with the poverty (Lybbert and Wydick, 2018).
The Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India has examined that the book further involved the detailed explanation about the challenges faced by the poor people in an attempt to escape from the situation of poverty. The concept of poor economics has been addresses and studied in the book and one can get the accurate answers to their questions. The authors have not only founded the economic quicksand; but also the reasons behind it. They have properly suggested that philanthropists, policymakers and economists fail to understand the problems associated with the global poverty. The book revealed that poor people don’t only need food; but they need more than that such as the programs that could embrace their level of empowerment (Ziliak et al., 2016).
I believe that this book can be the sunlight for many poor countries as the economists of poor countries can gain immense knowledge as well as the understanding about the problems the poor people face and can develop suitable strategies and policies with respect to those issues and problems. I have found this book really interesting and easily to understand as the authors have defined and explained about various economic concepts and global poverty by writing down the suitable examples. Without any kind of doubt; it is a very good book which has addressed the disgraceful problems and contained radical thinking to fight against the global poverty.
The good thing which I liked the most about this book is that it has contained the understanding for each economic concept and involved the cutting-edge research about the global poverty that could further allow the policy makers to develop and implement robust strategies for improving the lives of poor people. The rational has been made behind the decisions that are being taken by the poor people and some suitable strategies have also been provided by which the policymakers can properly respond to those decisions (Dupas and Robinson, 2013).
The major limitation that has been founded is that the authors did not target the particular poor countries due to which the level of understanding has got reduced to a certain level of extent. Other than this, there was no limitation and it has been considered as a very useful book (Lybbert and Wydick, 2018).
It can be concluded that the book contained everything that it must be. Every chapter has made me gained the in-depth knowledge, learning and understanding about the lives of poor people and relevant decisions being made by them with regards to the economic concepts and theories. The book is highly valuable to read and even the non-economists readers can also learn a lot from this book. It is not only important for the policy makers and economists to read this book; but the common people should also read this book so that they could become highly aware about the real situations and lives of the poor people. Hence, I would recommend every single person living in this World to reach this book.
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