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 idea of the good life as we have known it.
Immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change--these are sources of great anxiety across the world, from New Delhi and Dakar to Paris and Washington, DC. The resources to address these challenges are there--what we lack are ideas that will help us jump the wall of disagreement and distrust that divides us. If we succeed, history will remember our era with gratitude; if we fail, the potential losses are incalculable.
In this revolutionary book, renowned MIT economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo take on this challenge, building on cutting-edge research in economics explained with lucidity and grace. Original, provocative, and urgent, Good Economics for Hard Times makes a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. It is an extraordinary achievement, one that shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world.
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"Carefully argued and backed with research...Good Economics is an effective response to Banerjee and Duflo's more thoughtful critics, some of whom argued that devotion to randomised trials had led to a narrowing of economics, in which complex questions that could not be scientifically tested should simply be set aside. The authors make a convincing case that empirical economics contains answers to many vexing problems, from populism to identity politics, especially when economists are willing to range outside their discipline's confines."Financial Times
"Good Economics for Hard Times lives up to its authors' reputations, giving a masterly tour of the current evidence on critical policy questions facing less-than-perfect markets in both developed and developing countries, from migration to trade to postindustrial blight."William Easterly, The Wall Street Journal
"An excellent antidote to the most dangerous forms of economics bashing...Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, write beautifully and are in full command of their subject. Perhaps the greatest contribution of Good Economics... is precisely this: it demonstrates both the brilliant insights that mainstream economics can make available to us and its limits, which a progressive internationalism has a duty to transcend."
Yanis Varoufakis, The Guardian
"Not all economists wear ties and think like bankers. In their wonderfully refreshing book, Banerjee and Duflo delve into impressive areas of new research questioning conventional views about issues ranging fromtrade to top income taxation and mobility, and offer their own powerful vision of how we can grapple with them. A must-read."Thomas Piketty, professor, Paris School of Economics, andauthor of Capital in the Twenty-first Century
"In Good Economics for Hard Times, Banerjee and Duflo, two of the world's great economists, parse through what economists have to say about today's most difficult challenges-immigration, job losses from automation and trade, inequality, tribalism and prejudice, and climate change. The writing is witty and irreverent, always informative but never dull. Banerjee and Duflo are the teachers you always wished for but never had, and this book is an essential guide for the great policy debates of our times."Raghuram Rajan, Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business