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September 21, 2023


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14.73 The Challenge of World Poverty (Spring 2011, MIT OCW). Instructors: Professor Esther Duflo and Professor Abhijit Banerjee.

This is a course for those who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty, and are hopeful that economists might have something useful to say about this challenge. The questions we will take up include: Is extreme poverty a thing of the past? What is economic life like when living under a dollar per day? Why do some countries grow fast and others fall further behind? Does growth help the poor? Are famines unavoidable? How can we end child labor - or should we? How do we make schools work for poor citizens? How do we deal with the disease burden? Is micro finance invaluable or overrated? Without property rights, is life destined to be "nasty, brutish and short"? Has globalization been good to the poor? Should we leave economic development to the market? Should we leave economic development to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Does foreign aid help or hinder? Where is the best place to intervene? (from ocw.mit.edu)

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Introduction Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – What is a Poverty Trap? Unlimited
  • Lecture 03 – Social Experiments: Why and How? Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – Is There a Nutrition-Based Poverty Trap? Unlimited
  • Lecture 06 – Nutrition: The Hidden Traps Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – Health: Low Hanging Fruit? Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – Education: Setting the Stage Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Is It Possible to Deliver Quality Education to the Poor-The Pratham-JPAL Partnership Unlimited
  • Lecture 11 – Education: The Man Made Trap Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – (Somewhat) Un-Orthodox Findings on the Family Unlimited
  • Lecture 13 – How Do Families Decide? Unlimited
  • Lecture 14 – Gender Discrimination Unlimited
  • Lecture 15 – Risk and Insurance Unlimited
  • Lecture 16 – Insurance Unlimited
  • Lecture 17 – The (Not So Simple) Economics of Lending to the Poor Unlimited
  • Lecture 19 – The Promise and Perils of Microfinance Unlimited
  • Lecture 20 – Savings Unlimited
  • Lecture 21 – Savings 2 Unlimited
  • Lecture 22 – Entrepreneurs and Workers Unlimited
  • Lecture 24 – Policies, Politics: Can Evidence Play a Role in the Fight Against Poverty? Unlimited
  • Lecture 25 – Policies, Politics: Can Evidence Play a Role in the Fight Against Poverty? (cont.) Unlimited
  • Lecture 26 – Five Thoughts in Place of a Sweeping Conclusion Unlimited

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