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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Two prize-winning economists show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day. 

Figuring out how to deal with today's critical economic problems is perhaps the great challenge of our time. Much greater than space travel or perhaps even the next revolutionary medical breakthrough, what is at stake is the whole idea of the good life as we have known it. 

Immigration and inequality, globalisation and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change - these are sources of great anxiety across the world, from New Delhi and Dakar to Paris and Washington, DC. The resources to address these challenges are there - what we lack are ideas that will help us jump the wall of disagreement and distrust that divides us. If we succeed, history will remember our era with gratitude; if we fail, the potential losses are incalculable. 

In this revolutionary book, renowned MIT economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo take on this challenge, building on cutting-edge research in economics explained with lucidity and grace. Original, provocative, and urgent, Good Economics for Hard Times makes a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. It is an extraordinary achievement, one that shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world.

©2019 Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Good Economics for Hard Times

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Worthy of the Nobel Prize

This book postulates a noble idea with a pragmatic outlook, to further encompass variables within the field of Economics to take account of a broader picture. Economics, like almost every other subject these days, is at its core, a multi disciplinary field. If anyone wanted a purer concentration on Economics, this in itself would be sadly lacking, and this book demonstrates this. A particular skill of this book is to take into account the social costs job loss and unemployment causes, but also to take account the inefficiencies of protected labour markets with un-fireable workers. A strength of the authors is their willingness to acknowledge that many economic prescriptions are not self evident and they may not always sell, a particular example is the war on Coal under Obama, and Hillary Clinton's ineptly worded affirmation to continue this "we're going to put alot of people out of work." The authors are smart enough to recognize the difficulty of seeing their prescriptions being adopted, which in itself is a strength. A particular flaw of the book was the chapter on environmentalism and a Green New Deal was a bit too long, especially since this is not new and very familiar to all. The narration by James Lurie just didn't seem like the appropriate match, you would expect his voice to be appropriate for a classic novel or an ancient historical text. Personal preferences speaking, but his narration just didn't fit. Overall a decent work and one can appreciate why they became Nobel Laureates.

4 people found this helpful

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A must read/listen for understanding the chaos around us

This book is a must read for anyone who doesn’t understand the intricacies of economics, but still wants to make sense of the happenings around us. The authors, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Nobel Prize Winners Do a fantastic job of explaining how the fundamental principles of logic cannot apply and help us understand explain problems of hot potato topics such as immigration, poverty, trade and jobs. It isn’t without anything that Bill Gates refers this book. The audio rendering is amazing and helps when you are exercising to follow the story telling at a pace it can be understood. Good work audible!

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent compilation of world economics

Bought this book as my first venture into understanding global economics. It did not disappoint! The contents are well laid out and lead the reader through the challenges of the modern world and economic decisions that help overcome them. As I write COVID-19 has changed the world forever but this book has helped me understand how all countries will be able to cope and grow once the global pandemic is beaten off. I would recommend to anyone wanting to understand more about the economic world around them!

1 person found this helpful

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  • 14-01-21

Pretty good, definitely worth a listen

I liked it, very well documented and well written. No surprise considering the authors. Very well read! What I didn't fully enjoy was that some chapters are too long and sometimes the use of statistics/surveys seems exaggerated and you tend to miss the point and lose focus (or at least it happened to me).

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Interesting but misleading

Less about economics and more about politics and race, interesting but misleading. A good amount of different view points included

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An exceptional book

This book explains complex and highly sensitive subjects in a straightforward, methodical way. would highly recommend.

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Strong

it's a harder book the most of them have they have very good points overall

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Offers interesting insights into economic policy

Offers very interesting insights into the why and how of economic policy, and explains properly, and motivated by studies, the authors view on how to tackle some of the most pressing issues in society.

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Presenting research is helping us fight poverty

I had forgotten this "little detail" about the two authors while I was listening to the book: 2019.10.14: “The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 to” - Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, & Michael Kremer - “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. & “The research conducted by this year’s Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.” While I lived in Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden I tried to listen to live lectures by Nobel Laureates whenever possible. I now live far removed from these cities but there are always books! This is an important book insofar as it points to both fallacies in-, and workable methods for creating a more just world. Recommended listening. Also: I'm not an economist but had no problem following along - propps for a well-written, and edited book. I may re-listen.

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Educational but a slow listen

Interesting case studies to illuminate the arguments, if a little India heavy. Lots of good material to explain to the listener why the authors came to a conclusion. Enjoyable logic to chapter sequence. Perhaps the sometimes heavy subject matter doesn’t suit an audiobook. The facts and figures need some digestion which meant a fair amount of pausing and back tracking for me personally. So perhaps I shouldn’t buy anymore Economics audiobooks because it just takes too long! Great performance from James Lurie.

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  • Haytham
  • 15-09-20

A wonderful and mind transforming book.

The persistence in tracking the origins and pitfalls of many economic slogans is fascinating

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-20

Listening friendliness

Tough listen a read would've been better. Great discussion points nonetheless and takes away a lot of misconceptions around the developing world and deeper issues we face to a seemingly obvious problem

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  • John Eccles
  • 19-07-20

Economics made relevant

Economics has frequently produced answers which don't square with the real world. This book lifts the lid and reveals some of the reasons. No longer will I blindly buy into slogans based on faulty economics reasoning.

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  • Craig Lambie
  • 02-07-20

<3 economics = must read

As a fan of freakonomics I love all things eco, this was especially great insights into growth, mindset and how best to respect the down trodden by life to regenerate people and therefore economy's.

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  • Adrian
  • 24-06-20

Brilliant

Duflo and Banerjee at their brilliant best. Must read for economists, policy makers, students and citizens.

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  • AvidBookReader
  • 05-01-20

Fantastic book

So great learning more about evidence-based approaches to challenges our societies face, rather than the hunches and populist policies many politicians implement. The authors are incredible Nobel Prize winners in economics.