Tag Archives | abhijit banerjee

Understanding the medieval battle for Uttar Pradesh

Last week we learnt, from a perusal of an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, that out of the 617 candidate names released in the first list, 31% and 15% had criminal cases and serious criminal cases registered against them. If you thought this was sobering, the news gets better with ADR’s addendum report on […]

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Top Takeaways from Banerjee and Duflo’s Poor Economics

If you’ve been following this blog for sometime, you know that I consider Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s Poor Economics as a bible of sorts — to understand poverty, understand the psyche and motivations of the extremely poor, and the power of Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) to fairly assess efficacy of anti-poverty programs. Several posts […]

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Voting in developing countries dominated by ethnicity? Banerjee and Duflo answer with.. (yes) a RCT

In the diverse melting pot that is the great Indian democracy, we all know the strong role ethnicity plays in deciding elections. In their book Poor Economics, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo write about yet another RCT (Randomized Control Trial) they devised to determine whether it’s possible to change the voter’s natural mindset — to […]

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Psychology of Savings – How the Poor Save to Buy Fertilizer

In chapter 8 (Saving Brick by Brick) of Poor Economics, Banerjee and Duflo delve into the subject of savings – the psychology behind why a majority of the poor find it incredibly hard to save and how they are caught in a catch-22 situation. Savings is less attractive for the poor, because for them the […]

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Operation Magic Carpet and what it can teach us about reengineering education

In Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s book Poor Economics, they describe a remarkable social experiment which demonstrates that making sure every child learns the basics well in school is not only possible, it is in fact fairly easy (even in the most adverse conditions), as long as one focuses on doing exactly that, and nothing […]

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Elitist School Systems – teachers with high ambition and parents with low expectations (double-whammy)

[Editor's Note: This is the sixth in a series of excerpts from chapter 4 (education policy) of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo's Poor Economics.] Parents are not alone in focusing their expectations on success at the graduation exam: The whole education system colludes with them. The curriculum and organization of schools often date back to […]

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The curious history of conditional cash transfers

[Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of six excerpts from chapter 4 (education policy) of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo's Poor Economics. According to World Bank, more than 30 countries have some form of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs.] In a recent interview, Harish Hande (Founder of SELCO) and 2011 Magsaysay Award […]

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Pratham’s Contributions to Indian Education Policy Debate

[Editor's Note: This post is the fourth in a series of six excerpts from Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo's Poor Economics, specifically from chapter 4 (on education policy) - Top of the Class. The first three excerpts covered the debate between the supply-wallahs and demand-wallahs. The fourth covers the strong contributions of Pratham (possibly India's largest […]

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Middle ground between the supply-wallahs and demand-wallahs

[Editor's Note: This post is the third in a series of six excerpts from Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo's Poor Economics, specifically from chapter 4 (on education policy) - Top of the Class. Part 1 provided the supply-wallahs perspective, Part 2 was the counterpoint from the demand-wallahs. This post presents the middle ground.] At the core […]

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The Supply Demand Wars in Education Policy – Part 2

[Editor's Note: This post is the second in a series of six excerpts from Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo's Poor Economics, specifically from chapter 4 (on education policy) - Top of the Class. Part 1 provided the supply-wallahs perspective. This excerpt provides the demand-wallahs perspective.] The Demand Wallahs’ Case For the “demand wallahs”, a set of […]

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