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Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day Hardcover – 10 May 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (10 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691141487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691141480
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 1.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,311,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A fascinating discussion of the finances of the world's poor."--Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes.com



"Ten years ago, the authors of this unusual study began collecting detailed yearlong 'financial diaries' from households in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa. . . . The diarists did things that might seem irrational--borrowing in order to save; paying interest on savings--but that made sense given their unpredictable incomes and limited options. While the authors do offer prescriptions for how to expand those options, it's their scrupulous attention to actual behavior that makes this book invaluable."--New Yorker



"The book's methodology and conclusions are fascinating."--Publishers Weekly



"The authors of Portfolios of the Poor found that a 'triple whammy' characterizes the financial lives of the poor. Incomes are not only low; they are also irregular and unpredictable. . . . The authors' account suggests much that can be done to ease the financial conditions of poor people."--Anirudh Krishna, Science



"A refreshingly distinct path. Portfolios of the Poor . . . avoid[s] the big picture and zoom[s] in on the basics of daily poverty, exploring how poor families manage their money. . . . The diaries reveal a 'real, ongoing, and substantial demand' for better financial services, which poor families need to provide better health care and schooling for their children. . . . Rather than waiting for the world to debate and accept their ideas, these authors have taken them up on their own. In the war against global poverty, that feels like one small battle won."--Carlos Lozada, Washington Post



"The research provides evidence of the sophistication with which poor people think about their finances."--The Economist



"I recommend this book to anyone who has interest in improving the lives of the poor."--Melinda Gates, Co-chair, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Huffington Post



"This is a very interesting book, which examines the quite sophisticated financial system developed by poor households to adjust their spending relative to their income."--Choice



"A masterly assessment of the financial needs of people on very low incomes . . . stuffed full of interesting and surprising insights, and should be read by anyone concerned with economic development and poverty reduction. I can't praise it highly enough. This is a model of the careful collection of evidence with important practical consequences."--Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist



"This book is a major contribution to the understanding of the situation of the poor in developing countries and should be a 'must reading' for both academics and policymakers concerned with ways of improving developmental policies."--Werner Baer, Enterprise and Society

Synopsis

About forty percent of the world's people live on incomes of two dollars a day or less. If you've never had to survive on an income so small, it is hard to imagine. How would you put food on the table, afford a home, and educate your children? How would you handle emergencies and old age? Every day, more than a billion people around the world must answer these questions. "Portfolios of the Poor" is the first book to explain systematically how the poor find solutions. The authors report on the yearlong 'financial diaries' of villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa - records that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money. The stories of these families are often surprising and inspiring. Most poor households do not live hand to mouth, spending what they earn in a desperate bid to keep afloat. Instead, they employ financial tools, many linked to informal networks and family ties. They push money into savings for reserves, squeeze money out of creditors whenever possible, run sophisticated savings clubs, and use microfinancing wherever available.

Their experiences reveal new methods to fight poverty and ways to envision the next generation of banks for the 'bottom billion'. Indispensable for those in development studies, economics, and microfinance, "Portfolios of the Poor" will appeal to anyone interested in knowing more about poverty and what can be done about it.

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4 customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

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18 August 2016
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23 July 2009
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 33 reviews
Mal Warwick
4.0 out of 5 starsUnderstanding the daily reality of global poverty
16 July 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
6 people found this helpful.
Zack Polizzi
2.0 out of 5 stars... very excited to gain an understanding of what it's like to live on $2 a day
11 May 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Prisacaru Dan
5.0 out of 5 starsThoughtful, insightful and best of all - it debunks many misconceptions westerners have. A must read!,
23 February 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
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4 people found this helpful.
Azrael
5.0 out of 5 starsVery Insightful
5 November 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
DoxieMama3318
4.0 out of 5 starsGood book but has a lot of business jargon in ...
17 January 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
One person found this helpful.