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Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee: Good Economics for Hard Times

Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee being interviewed by Ros Dixon

Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee were winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics for their ground-breaking work on solving global poverty. Using their innovative research based on field experiments, they have created practical tools to improve education, health and economic wellbeing. In their new book, Good Economics for Hard Times, they look at today’s seemingly insoluble problems – inequality, technological disruption, slowing growth, and accelerating climate change – to find the fresh and original solutions we need.

In conversation with UNSW professor Rosalind Dixon, they will explore how cutting-edge economics can take on these challenges and bring the world back from the brink.

People want money yes, but they also want meaning in their life and one thing that a universal basic income doesn't do is provide people with anything close to meaning. We should restore not just people's earnings but way of living.

Abhijit Banerjee

We had two closely related ambitions. The first one was to contribute to improving the lives of the poor, here and now. The second was to build a better understanding of how they live their lives, from the ground up, by building a fuller picture, one question at a time.

Esther Duflo



The Wallace Wurth Lecture was first held in 1964 to commemorate the memory of the late Wallace Charles Wurth, the first President of the Council of the New South Wales University of Technology, and the first Chancellor of the University. The first lecture was delivered by the then Prime Minister of Australia, the Right Honourable Sir Robert Menzies and recent speakers have included Gail Kelly, Stan Grant and Daniel Dennett. 

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