February 2020 \ News \ BOOK LAUNCH
Dignity for all, roar rockstar economists Abhijit and Esther

Dressed in ethnic Indian wear and precipitating ...

By Sukant Deepak
  • Left Mr Abhijit Banerjee Right Ms Esther Duflo

Dressed in ethnic Indian wear and precipitating an almost rock-fan reaction from those in attendance, Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo in early January stressed on the need to ascertain that every system in the world ensures dignity for every individual as a core belief.

“We just can’t treat the economically backward as failures, that would be a very Victorian approach,” said Banerjee during the launch of the duo’s book “Good Economics for Hard Times”, published by Juggernaut. Staying away from jargons, and talking about their work to an audience that mostly comprised youngsters from different walks of life and not just economics, the duo, which donated their Nobel Prize money to the Weiss Fund administered by Harvard for research in development economics, ensured that the session punctuated with humour stayed relaxed and interactive.

During “The Juggernaut Dialogue” moderated by media person Prannoy Roy, Esther Duflo pointed out that it was wrong to assume that giving handouts to the poor made them lazy. Banerjee said that their research had shown that the same made them enthusiastic. “We have tested this theory across countries. Also, why do we always tend to blame these individuals when there are sharks all around?

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