Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. : POOR ECONOMICS by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther … – 4

03 NOV 2011

London, 3 November 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 Perseus Books. 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.
Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £10,000,
and can expect a heightened interest in their influential

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

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.”

Photographs of Abhijit V. Banerjee and shortlisted authors,
keynote speaker Lord Patten, the judges and the award
ceremony will be available to download from
after 12am EST on 4 November, and on request.

A video of the shortlist can be viewed at:

For further information please contact:

UK: Katrina Power/Tracey Jennings/Steven Williams, Midas
T: +44 (0)207 361 7860 / +44 (0)79639 62538 (Katrina
E: /
Follow on Twitter @Bizbookaward

Lizzie Allen, Financial Times
T: +44 (0)207 873 4463

US: Mark Fortier, Fortier Public Relations
T: +1 212-675-6460, +1 646-246-3036
Follow on Twitter @Bizbookaward

Darcy Keller, Financial Times
T: +1 212 641 6614

Stephen Cohen, Goldman Sachs
T: +1 212 357 0019

The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the
Year Award 2011:


Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight
Global Poverty
Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo (PublicAffairs, USA;
Perseus Books, UK)

Poor Economics is a journey into the incredibly
multi-faceted and complex economic lives of the poor. For
more than fifteen years, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
have worked with the poor in dozens of countries spanning
five continents, trying to understand the specific problems
that come with poverty and to find proven solutions. Their
book is at once radical in its rethinking of the economics of
poverty and entirely practical in the suggestions it offers,
allowing a ringside view of the lives of the world’s
poorest. Drawing on a very rich body of evidence, including
the hundreds of randomised control trials they have pioneered
at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), they
show why the poor, despite having the same capacities and
aspirations as anyone else, end up with entirely different

They help us understand why the poor need to borrow in order
to save, why their children go to school but often do not
learn, why they miss out on free life-saving immunizations
but pay for drugs that they do not need, why they start many
businesses but do not grow any of them, and many other
puzzling facts about living on less than 99 cents per day.

Poor Economics argues that so much of anti-poverty
policy has failed over the years because of an inadequate
understanding of poverty. The battle against poverty can be
won, but it will take patience, careful thinking, and a
willingness to learn from evidence.

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee was educated at the University of
Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University.
He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor
of Economics at MIT. Banerjee is a past president of the
Bureau for Research in the Economic Analysis of Development,
a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the
Econometric Society, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an
Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. He is the recipient of many awards,
including the inaugural Infosys Prize in 2009, and has been
an honorary advisor to many organisations, including the
World Bank and the Government of India.

Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty
Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. She studied at
the École Normale Supérieure, in Paris, and at MIT. She has
received numerous honors and prizes, including a John Bates
Clark Medal for the best American economist under forty in
2010, and a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship in 2009.
She was recognised as one of the best eight young economists
by The Economist magazine, one of the hundred most
influential thinkers by Foreign Policy since the
list has existed, and one of the “forty under
forty” most influential business leaders by Fortune
magazine in 2010.


Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar
Barry Eichengreen (Oxford University Press, UK)

For a quarter of a century after World War II, the dollar
reigned supreme. Only the United States emerged strengthened
from the war; its economy towered over the world like none
other. It accounted for fully half of global industrial
production. Only its currency was freely traded.

The dollar, the world’s international reserve currency
for over eighty years, has been a pillar of American economic
hegemony. In the words of one critic, the dollar possessed an
“exorbitant privilege” in international finance
that reinforced U.S. economic power.

In Exorbitant Privilege, eminent economist Barry
Eichengreen explains how the dollar rose to the top of the
monetary order before turning to the current situation.

The current crisis has placed serious strains on the dollar,
and many believe that US influence in the world will be
severely curtailed with the rise of competing currencies such
as the Euro and the Chinese renminbi. However, Eichengreen
suggests that, while we are most likely entering an era when
the world will have more than one reserve currency, this does
not in itself constitute a crisis. Moreover, predictions of
the dollar’s demise are greatly exaggerated. The most
likely outcome is that the dollar will only slowly be
supplanted by other currencies in a gradual transition that
will resemble the relatively stable situation that prevailed
before World War I.

Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Political Science and
Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He has
written for the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal,
Foreign Affairs,
and other publications.

Edward L. Glaeser (The Penguin Press, USA; Macmillan, UK)

In 2009, for the first time in history, more than half the
world’s population lived in cities. In a time when family,
friends and co-workers are a call, text, or email away, 3.3
billion people on this planet still choose to crowd together
in skyscrapers, high-rises, subways and buses. Not too long
ago, it looked like our cities were dying, but in fact they
boldly threw themselves into the information age, adapting
and evolving to become the gateways to a globalised and
interconnected world. Now more than ever, the well-being of
human society depends upon our knowledge of how the city
lives and breathes.

Understanding the modern city and the powerful forces within
it is the life’s work of Harvard urban economist Edward
Glaeser who is hailed as one of the world’s most exciting
urban thinkers. Travelling from city to city, speaking to
planners and politicians across the world, he uncovers
questions large and small whose answers are both
counterintuitive and deeply significant. Should New Orleans
be rebuilt? Why can’t my nephew afford an apartment in New
York? Is London the new financial capital of the world? Is my
job headed to Bangalore? In Triumph of the City,
Glaeser takes us around the world and into the mind of the
modern city – from Mumbai to Paris to Rio to Detroit to
Shanghai, and to any number of points in between – to reveal
how cities think, why they behave in the manners that they
do, and what wisdom they share with the people who inhabit

Edward L. Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of
Economics at Harvard University. He studies the economics of
cities, housing, segregation, obesity, crime, innovation and
other subjects, and writes about many of these issues for
Economix. He serves as the director of the Taubman
Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport
Institute for Greater Boston. He is also a senior fellow at
the Manhattan Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the
University of Chicago in 1992.

Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril
Margaret Heffernan (Walker Co, USA; Simon Schuster, UK)

Margaret Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and
dangers we face are the ones we don’t see – not because
they’re secret or invisible, but because we’re wilfully
blind. A distinguished businesswoman and writer, she examines
the phenomenon and traces its imprint in our private and
working lives, and within governments and organisations, and
asks: What makes us prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid
of? Why do some people see more than others? And how can we

Covering everything from our choice of mates to the SEC,
Bernard Madoff’s investors, the embers of BP’s refinery, and
the military in Afghanistan, this provocative book
demonstrates how failing to see – or admit to ourselves or
our colleagues – the issues and problems in plain sight can
ruin private lives and bring down corporations. Heffernan
explains how wilful blindness develops before exploring ways
that institutions and individuals can combat it.

Margaret Heffernan has been the CEO of several businesses.
Born in Texas and educated at Cambridge University, she
worked for BBC Radio for five years where she wrote,
directed, produced, and commissioned dozens of documentaries
and dramas. Heffernan is author of The Naked Truth: A
Working Woman’s Manifesto on Business
and What Really
Matters and How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are
Changing the Rules of Business Success
, and is a regular
contributor to Real Business and Fast

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It
Richard Rumelt (Crown Business, USA; Profile, UK)

Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of
a leader, whether the CEO at a Fortune 100 company, an
entrepreneur, a church pastor, the head of a school, or a
government official. In Good Strategy, Bad Strategy,
Richard Rumelt shows that there has been a growing and
unfortunate tendency to equate Mom-and-apple-pie values,
fluffy packages of buzzwords, motivational slogans, and
financial goals with “strategy.” He debunks these elements of
“bad strategy” and awakens an understanding of the power of a
“good strategy.”

Richard Rumelt received his doctoral degree from Harvard and
holds the Harry and Elsa Kunin chair at UCLA Anderson School
of Business. He is one of the world’s most sought-after
educators on strategy and general management and is a
consultant to small firms such as the Samuel Goldwyn Company
and giants such as Shell International, as well as to
organisations in the educational and non-profit worlds.
Rumelt was a founding member of the Strategic Management
Society and served as its president in 1995-98. He has
recently appeared on CNBC, and been featured in the
Financial Times, The McKinsey Quarterly and The
, among others.

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern
Daniel Yergin (The Penguin Press, USA; Allen Lane, UK)

The Quest continues the riveting story Daniel Yergin
began twenty years ago with his No.1 International Bestseller
The Prize, revealing the on-going quest to meet the
world’s energy needs – and the power and riches that come
with it – to prove that energy is truly the engine of global
political and economic change.

From the jammed streets of Beijing, the shores of the Caspian
Sea, and the conflicts in the Middle East, to Capitol Hill
and Silicon Valley, Yergin tells the inside stories of the
oil market, the rise of the ‘petrostate’, the race to
control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the
massive corporate mergers that have transformed the oil
landscape. He shows how the drama of oil – the struggle for
access to it, the battle for control, the insecurity of
supply, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics
that dominate it – will continue to shape our world. And he
takes on the toughest questions: will we run out; are China
and the United States destined for conflict; what of climate
change? Yergin also reveals the surprising and turbulent
histories of nuclear, coal, and natural gas, and investigates
the ‘rebirth of renewables’- biofuels, wind, and
solar energy – showing how understanding this greening
landscape and its future role are crucial to the needs of a
growing world economy.

Daniel Yergin is one of the most highly respected and
influential authorities in the world on energy, international
politics and economics. He is a recipient of the United
States Energy Award for ‘lifelong achievements in energy
and the promotion of international understanding’. Dr.
Yergin received the Pulitzer for The Prize: The Epic
Quest for Oil, Money and Power
, which became a No. 1
bestseller and was made into an eight-hour PBS/BBC series
seen by millions of people around the world. He is chairman
of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the leading
research and consulting firm in its field. He serves as
CNBC’s Global Energy Expert.

Notes to Editors:

Entry forms and details of the Terms and Conditions are
available from This
annual Award aims to identify the book that provides the most
compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues,
including management, finance and economics. The shortlist of
six titles was chosen from a longlist of fourteen. The winner
was announced at a dinner in London on 3 November 2011.
Submissions were invited from publishers or bona fide
imprints based in any country.

Books must be published for the first time in the English
language, or in English translation, between 16 November 2010
and 15 November 2011. There is no limit to the number of
submissions from each publisher/imprint, provided they fit
the criteria, and books from all genres except anthologies
are eligible. There are no restrictions of gender, age or
nationality of authors. Authors who are current employees of
the Financial Times or Goldman Sachs, or the close relatives
of such employees, are not eligible.

About the Financial Times:
The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news
organisations, is recognised internationally for its
authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news,
comment, data and analysis for the global business community,
the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of
592,390 (Deloitte assured, 4 July 2011 to 2 October 2011) and
a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.1
million people worldwide (PwC assured, May 2011). has 4 million registered users
and 247,000 paying digital subscribers. The newspaper,
printed at 23 print sites across the globe, has a global
print circulation of 344,583 (ABC, September 2011).

About Goldman Sachs:
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment
banking, securities and investment management firm that
provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial
and diversified client base that includes corporations,
financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth
individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in
New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers
around the world.

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