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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

No silver bullet to cure poverty (4)

(Shanghai Daily)

13:03, December 05, 2011

Banerjee: There is a general worry that it will lead to an irresponsible, populist backlash in policy making in the West, like anti-trade and all that. But right now, they are just reacting to what is the real problem in all the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. In some of these countries, there is ballooning inequality, and there is very little official response to tackle this.

Q: Recent studies have shown that poverty has increased dramatically in the US over the past decade, due in part to the economic downturn. In a world of continuing global financial uncertainty, what challenges do we face in fighting global poverty?

Banerjee: Slowing growth in the West is a huge problem for growing countries like India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which rely on servicing these markets. They are all going to face some constraints on that account.

It is also clear that there is a certain amount of policy attention or creativity that is now being directed to finding the equilibrium within Western economies. After all, we need talent from the whole world to think about ways of ending poverty.

Duflo: The crises in the end have to affect the lives of the very poor. The immediate impact of the global financial crisis was not as harsh on the very poor as on the middle classes of the rich countries. What is more worrisome is the inability to get out of the crisis in the past few years.

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