I hate reviewing my readings with too much delay and not enough time on my hands, in the process not doing either these books nor my blog due justice. And this especially when it comes to a gem such as Poor Economics by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. The authors navigating between Scylla (William Easterly) and Charybdis (Jeffrey Sachs) introduce randomized controlled testing into development economics trying to determine what really matters for life choices of the poor.
There is no clear storyline to their book, which makes reading it a bit chopped at times, but that's also simply the point I think. There is no clear theoretical explanatory narrative to life and those who pretend that they know one are deceiving themselves. Duflo & Banerjee concentrate on simple, individual decisions such as why the poor do not vaccinate their children sufficiently, or only send their gifted kid to school. Really an extremely interesting insight in the reality that development programs collide with in the field.