Esther Duflo on Poverty: It’s Not Just the Lack of Money

By iMFdirect

Esther Duflo, Professor of Development Economics at MIT, co-founded The Poverty Lab to find innovative approaches to poverty alleviation. In this podcast, Duflo says she became an economist specifically to study poverty.

“I came to economics once I realized it was a powerful way to make a difference in the life of poor people.”

Duflo says all economic and social dimensions of poverty must be considered in order to effectively address the problem.

“Poverty is made of multiple angles. It’s not just lack of money but it’s also lack of education, lack of health, lack of information, lack of political inclusion and awareness, et cetera… ”

Duflo delivered the IMF’s 2016 Richard Goode lecture earlier this month, where she presented some research on the loss of government revenues from corruption. In the podcast, she talks about the importance of improving “customer service” when addressing corruption issues.

“If you just fix the infrastructure and nothing touches the customer, then the changes will be much less likely to stick because there’s not going to be a constituency of people who’re going to support you.”

Listen to the podcast:

 

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