This is the book Eldar Shafir and his colleague Sendhil Mullainathan wrote about their fascinating new theory of poverty. It’s well-written and full of eye-openers. Although I think they don’t take their conclusions far enough, it’s one of most important books on poverty that has been published in the past decade.
Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos and David Hulme | Book
This is not a very well-known book. But it is, to my knowledge, the first that really made the case for just giving money to the poor. The authors point out that the idea comes from the Global South, where governments have experimented on a huge scale with cash transfers to the poor. And with success!
David Graeber is one of my favorite thinkers. And this essay is probably the best he has ever written. It’s on the phenomenon of – and here comes a very scientific term – ‘bullshit jobs’. As I say during my TED Talk: about a third of the modern workforce thinks her of his job his utterly useless. But how can this happen in capitalist economies? Isn’t there an invisible hand that is supposed to get rid of all useless work? If you believe that, then Graebers essay may cause some cognitive dissonance!
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