More Than Good Intentions

More Than Good Intentions : How a New Economics Is Helping to Solve Global Poverty

3.93 (703 ratings by Goodreads)
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A leading economist and researcher report from the front lines of a revolution in solving the world's most persistent problem. When it comes to global poverty, people are passionate and polarized. At one extreme: We just need to invest more resources. At the other: We've thrown billions down a sinkhole over the last fifty years and accomplished almost nothing. Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel present an entirely new approach that blazes an optimistic and realistic trail between these two extremes. In this pioneering book Karlan and Appel combine behavioral economics with worldwide field research. They take readers with them into villages across Africa, India, South America, and the Philippines, where economic theory collides with real life. They show how small changes in banking, insurance, health care, and other development initiatives that take into account human irrationality can drastically improve the well-being of poor people everywhere. We in the developed world have found ways to make our own lives profoundly better. We use new tools to spend smarter, save more, eat better, and lead lives more like the ones we imagine. These tools can do the same for the impoverished. Karlan and Appel's research, and those of some close colleagues, show exactly how. In America alone, individual donors contribute over two hundred billion to charity annually, three times as much as corporations, foundations, and bequests combined. This book provides a new way to understand what really works to reduce poverty; in so doing, it reveals how to better invest those billions and begin transforming the well-being of the world.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • Dutton Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 052595189X
  • 9780525951896
  • 247,374

Review quote

"The first half of the twenty-first century will be remembered by historians as the time when the world eliminated much of its poverty. A few geniuses like Dean Karlan will be seen as responsible. Here is a triumph of careful analysis and creative invention over deep problems that have been seen as endemic and hopeless." -Robert Shiller, Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics, Yale University, and author of "Animal Spirits, The Suprime Solution" and "Irrational Exuberance" "A page-turner that guides donors to strategies that improve the lives of the world's poorest people. Karlan and Appel lucidly describe the research supporting their findings while demonstrating how psychological "nudges" combine with economic incentives to make the strategies succeed." -Paul Brest, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation "Karlan is one of the most creative and prolific young economists in the world. His research lies at the intersection of two of the hottest areas in the field: behavioral economics and development-microfinance . . . . A good follow-up to "Freakonomics, Predictably Irrational," and "Nudge" with a development and poverty spin." -Richard H. Thaler, coauthor of "Nudge" "Dean Karlan is one of the most energetic and enterprising members of a new breed of economists who are trying to fight poverty and change the world, one randomized trial at a time. This book with Jacob Appel conveys not only new and exciting findings from these studies, but also, with its brisk and engaging tone, the sheer joy of search and discovery. An uplifting and stimulating read!" -Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Department of Economics, MIT, 2010 John Bates Clark Award winner "A terrific book for anyone interested in what can really be done about global poverty. Karlan and Appel strike a balance between irrational exuberance for donating money to anything that sounds noble anshow more

Rating details

703 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 28% (195)
4 44% (311)
3 22% (158)
2 5% (32)
1 1% (7)
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