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Good Economics for Hard Times

By: Abhijit Banerjee,Esther Duflo
Narrated by: James Lurie
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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.

5 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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • AS
  • 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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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!

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best books of our times

Great explanations and examples of current times , wonderful insight on a economist mind - history and progress teaches us so much

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superb, made economics really interesting

highly recommended, thought provoking and some, really interesting examples.i really enjoyed the book, Well worth a listen. would highly recommend it

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Interesting, but not sticky

Listening to this book is interesting, but I must say as an outsider (no economist or policy maker) that nothing is really sticking for a long time, which is a shame.

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Pure gold

It is so refreshing to experience some good science. Very enlightening. Highly recommended to anyone who seeks truth

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A book everyone should read

I wish everyone in the world would read this book. An excellent assesment of where economic theory currently stands

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.