Good Economics for Hard Times
By Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
PublicAffairs, 2019, 432 pp.
This book, published shortly before the authors both won the Nobel Prize in Economics, in October 2019, covers a wide swath of structural and policy issues in both advanced and developing countries. They write that the discipline of economics has much to offer but that it needs to stretch well beyond the models that modern economists favor. They emphasize the importance of dignity for people from all walks of life, something the economics profession struggles to consider in its analysis. The authors’ own research is mainly in developing countries, especially India, where their observations are subtle and nuanced. Their analysis is less nuanced when it comes to rich countries but valuable nonetheless, particularly in making economics readily accessible to nonexperts through many stories and examples.