A Fresh Look at Fighting Global Poverty
Friday, April 29, 2011
Dean Karlan, a Yale economist, and Jacob Appel, a former field researcher in West Africa, are the authors of a new bookabout fighting global poverty, “More Than Good Intentions.” Richard Thaler has described the book on the Nudge blog, and Tyler Cowen has called Mr. Karlan “one of my favorite young economists.”
My conversation with Mr. Karlan and Mr. Appel follows.
Q. You write that microcredit – small loans to poor people – “has generated more enthusiasm and support than perhaps any other development tool in history.” You agree that microcredit has great potential, but you also suggest that it’s been oversold. What’s known at this point about how it does, and does not, improve people’s lives