Poor Economics by Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo Wins Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2011



Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo today won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2011 for Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, published by PublicAffairs. The book is a journey into the multi-faceted and complex lives of the poor, based on over fifteen years of work the authors have done with the poor, trying to understand the specific problems that come with poverty – and to find proven solutions.

The Award, which aims to find the book that provides ‘the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues’, was presented today to Abhijit V. Banerjee at the Wallace Collection in London by Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times, and Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The keynote speaker was Lord Patten of Barnes, Chairman, BBC Trust.

Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo share a £30,000 prize (about $47,926 as of today’s currency conversion rate). Each of the five runners-up received a check for £10,000 (about $15,975 as of today’s currency conversion rate), and can expect a heightened interest in their influential books.



Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times and Chair of the Panel of Judges, said: “I was blown away by the thoroughness of the empirical research. This is going to be a real basis for innovation in policy, innovation in government, and a guide to intellectual debate. This is a business book in the broadest sense.”

Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., commented: “This is an important and thoughtful book. It provides real insight into many of the fundamental issues that can help alleviate poverty. Poor Economics is a deserving winner.”

The distinguished judging panel for the 2011 Award was:

* Vindi Banga, Partner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

* Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School

* Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission

* Mario Monti, President of Bocconi University, Milan, European chairman of the Trilateral Commission, honorary president of Bruegel

* Jorma Ollila, Chairman of Nokia and Royal Dutch Shell

* Shriti Vadera, Director of Shriti Vadera Ltd, Non-Executive Director of BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca

Lord Patten of Barnes added: "This prestigious literary award has helped to rescue the concept of "business books” from that pile of volumes at airport terminals which advise you, first, how to make the most of your attributes as a first-class underling, and second, never knowingly to underestimate the taste of the public. This prize, with its distinguished list of past winners, has transformed the whole notion of business literature."

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