Mar 26, 2010

Book Launch in India: Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day

The ground-breaking book Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day was recently released in India at the National Microfinance Conference in Delhi. Coauthored by Jonathan Morduch, managing director of FAI and professor of public policy and economics, Portfolios of the Poor reports 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. Published in the U.S. in May 2009, it has received high praise for its pioneering research and contributions to development economics from publications, including The Economist, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Financial Times.

This month, Jonathan Morduch and his coauthors, Daryl Collins, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven, celebrated the publication of the Indian edition of the book. This is particularly significant as nearly 20 percent of household diarists featured in the book reside in India. Despite impressive economic gains in recent history, more than 42 percent of India's population still lives in poverty. With its eye on sustained growth within this population, India is looking to improve management of microfinance services, with efforts underway to provide regulation for the various entities engaged in Indian microfinance, such as NGOs and other nonprofits. Understanding how these poor households manage their financial lives provides an important foundation upon which to build policy agendas and effective financial tools, and Portfolios of the Poor makes an important contribution to this understanding.

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