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Autor: Luis Antonio López Santiago – Profesor del Departamento de Análisis Económico y Finanzas

Llega el verano y es el momento de reponer fuerzas. Mi propuesta es no leer la sección de economía de la prensa hasta septiembre. No más macroeconomía: no más recortes del gasto público, no más paro registrado ni más tasas de paro de la EPA, no más primas de riesgo, no más rescates de  y antiguas Cajas españolas, no más pensiones millonarias de antiguos consejeros delegados, no más subidas de IVA, no más reformas laborales… hasta septiembre. ¡Son malos tiempos para ser economista!

Mi sugerencia es la lectura de un libro que no sólo nos permite disfrutar y aprender, sino que, además, nos ayuda a recuperar la confianza en la profesión. Me refiero a Poor Economics de Abhijit V. Banejee y Esther Duflo, cuyos autores sobre la base de los avances realizados por la investigación científica-económica sobre la pobreza nos señalan el camino que debe de llevar la profesión y la economía para reconciliarse con la sociedad. Este es el resumen de la contraportada del libro, que podéis encontrar en http://pooreconomics.com/, junto con mucha más información de interés:


Why would a man in Morocco who doesn’t have enough to eat buy a television?

Why is it so hard for children in poor areas to learn even when they attend school?

Why do the poorest people in the Indian state of Maharashtra spend 7 percent of their food budget on sugar?

Does having lots of children actually make you poorer?

For more than fifteen years Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo have worked with the poor in dozens of countries spanning five continents, trying to understand the specific problems that come with poverty and to find proven solutions. Their book is radical in its rethinking of the economics of poverty, but also entirely practical in the suggestions it offers. Through a careful analysis of a very rich body of evidence, including the hundreds of randomized control trials that Banerjee and Duflo’s lab has pioneered, they show why the poor, despite having the same desires and abilities as anyone else, end up with entirely different lives. Through their work, Banerjee and Duflo look at some of the most surprising facets of poverty: why the poor need to borrow in order to save, why they miss out on free life-saving immunizations but pay for drugs that they do not need, why they start many businesses but do not grow any of them, and many other puzzling facts about living with less than 99 cents per day. POOR ECONOMICS argues that so much of anti-poverty policy has failed over the years because of an inadequate understanding of poverty. The battle against poverty can be won, but it will take patience, careful thinking and a willingness to learn from evidence. Banerjee and Duflo are practical visionaries whose meticulous workoffers transformative potential for poor people anywhere, and is a vital guide to policy makers, philanthropists, activists and anyone else who cares about building a world without poverty.