Esther Duflo on “Human Values and the Design of the Fight against Poverty”


While not really a book or article, this Tanner Lecture (similar to the popular TED Talks) given at Harvard University feeds on the points of Esther Duflo’s book, Poor Economics. About two hours long, this lecture ‘Human Values and the Design of the Fight Against Poverty‘ emphasize Duflo’s book in an expedited version.

The question of free choice versus choices made by the government is addressed and discussed, along with alternatives, and what the results are. Which is the actual account of freedom, and do the wealthy have more or less freedom than the poor?

Esther Duflo is not the only speaker during this lecture, but the points she makes are the basis for those that follow, so listening to the other speakers help add to, rather than detract from, the issues presented. A good addition to the book, Poor Economics, this video is recommended to those who are interested in the question of morality, “Should we make decisions for the poor, or should we allow them to make their own decisions based on what they think is best?”

  1. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay

    If we seriously desire for a corruption-free society, decent political atmosphere, has to put genuine commitment at our own end, as you know most of the communities (such as Bengali or Tamil) in this sub-continent are covered by ‘Culture of Poverty’ (hopelessness), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption in this society at heart, decaying general quality of life, bad Politico-Governance, poor work place, weak mother language, continuous consumption of common Social Space. We love to become parents only by self-procreation (mindlessly & blindfold supported by lame excuses, driven by the very animal instinct) depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a caring society, fearless & dignified living. Never search for other positive alternative gesture, adopting reasonable values for a passionate way of parenthood, deliberately stop giving birth to any child him/herself here till it improves up to the mark, co-parenting children those are born out of extreme poverty, instead. Introduce reasonableness in way of life among Commoners. If a pure freedom is desired, from vicious cycle of poverty, rotten capitalism need to involve ourselves in ‘Production of space’ movement, quality Politics would certainly come up. – SB, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah -711 101, India.

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