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Good Economics for Hard Times

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The winners of the Nobel Prize show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day.

Figuring out how to deal with today's critical economic problems is perhaps the great challenge of our time. Much greater than space travel or perhaps even the next revolutionary medical breakthrough, what is at stake is the whole
Kindle Edition, 417 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by PublicAffairs
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Jason Furman
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has a huge amount of good economics. It surveys a wide range of areas: labor, tax, growth, politics, immigration, trade, and generally provides up-to-date discussions of some of the latest literature. The discussions of development--particularly India--are subtle, nuanced and thought provoking. A lot of the evidence is in the form of randomized control trials (RCTs), Abhijit Baanerjee and Esther Duflo are as committed to the method and process as they are to any particular conclusions. ...more
Thomas Rososchansky
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
First I need to get this out of my system: incredibly funny to me that it’s taken us this long before the Nobel prize winners for economics of the year were two motherfuckers who simply asked “what if we tried being nice to the poor?”

This book is intriguing in its writing, it gets props on that for sure. It’s fun to read and interesting despite what its ideas might contain.

As for the economics, there’s a lot of Keynesian revivalism because two ding dong economists finally figured out that 40
Ryan Boissonneault
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aristotle warned us against expecting more precision from a subject than it allows. As Aristotle wrote, “for it is the mark of an educated mind to seek only so much exactness in each type of inquiry as may be allowed by the nature of the subject-matter.”

The idea that economics commands the same level of precision as physics has led to the perpetuation of several misconceptions and dogmas. That the authors fully understand this is a testament to the book. The authors are not dogmatic, nor are
Anandh Sundar
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book gives anecdotes from RCT(randomized trials) and research papers, to provide their supposedly objective view on how to perceive economics's impact on those adversely impacted by globzliation. The book has some good insights as to why less people immigrate than expected, and if they do why the job market is slow to absorb them, the high government wage impact on the labour job market, the UBI(Universal basic income) story etc. This is an immensely readable one.

The reason I docked a star
Oct 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
How Evolution has generated Intelligent Design from the religious crowd, this is the apologetics of the Big Brother. Of course everyone will be better, in Heavens of course.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book by the two most recent winners of the Nobel Prize for economics. They are husband and wife and they have made their careers by studying economics largely among poor people
(a southern rather than northern focus). They also coauthored “Poor Economics”, which also is well worth reading. They are highly unusual among the economists who gain the most traction in the US for multiple reasons: 1) they do experiments (RCTs), 2) they are interested in how theory and practice fit together,
Binit Agrawal
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for our times. It deals with most of the problems our politics, society, environment and economy (across the world) are facing. It discusses the problems and proposes reasoned solutions for each. It raises some of the most important questions on the decisions being made today.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Abhijit Bannerjee and Esther Duflo open their book with an admission: It is “a book about where economic policy has failed, where ideology has blinded us, where we have missed the obvious”. However, they also hold out a lamp by writing “about where and why good economics is useful, especially in today’s world”. The book trails the most fraught economic issues - immigration, trade, growth, inequality, environment.

Authors present the common ideological claims we’ve internalized and show how we
Angelo Lisboa
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo are two of the most influential Economists in the world and 2019 Nobel Laureates due to their outstanding work in Development Economics.

This book is divided in few long chapters, each takes a little over 1h to read. Each chapter tackles a difficult challenge and a topic where is widespread dissonance between what experts and economists believe and what the general public believe.

It starts with immigration, followed by job losses from automation and trade,
Carl Lens
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Economists might have the most important profession for the next couple of decades. The perspectives of this book shows the economics behind a lot of the most pressing problems of our times like wellbeing, climate and inequality. Interestingly enough the book makes clear that traditional economist themes like GDP and growth of economies are almost impossible to impact with policies. In that way it refocuses/redefines what c
Economy is about. Refreshing!
The clarity and quality of this book are
John C
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing political viewpoint.

Disappointing. Claims to be application of scientific analysis to economics. But from page 1 reads like politically correct puff. I suppose that is what the Nobel prize has becomoe
Nov 29, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Added because of this review in The Guardian.
Mohamed  mohamad  Akel Atlanta
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The questions are well tried and true the interpretations to those answers in this book however are fresh & sage.
Karen Ng
A 4-star read in terms of information, but quite boring and useless information for an ordinary, non business reader.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As dense in information as "Poor Economics", but unified by a single purpose, and written with great understanding and expression. A compelling and rewarding book to read.
Aditya Pandit
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in economic, or more broadly, social policy
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Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is an Indian economist. He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Banerjee is a co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (along with economists Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan) and a Research Affiliate of Innovations for Poverty Action, a New Haven, Connecticut based research ...more
“So at the end of the day, although we will try to stitch together the best evidence for these theories, the result will be tentative. We have already seen that growth is hard to measure. It is even harder to know what drives it, and therefore to make policy to make it happen. Given that, we will argue, it may be time to abandon our profession’s obsession with growth.” 0 likes
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