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Poverty

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New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with New York Times reporter Peter Wilson about how climate change can impact global inequality. “The responsibility for the emissions that lead to climate change rests mainly with rich countries and their consumers, but the cost is mainly going to be borne by citizens in poor countries,” says Duflo. 

Vox

MIT and Harvard startup GiveDirectly, “identifies poor people and villages, usually in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and distributes cash to them directly, usually via cellphone payment, instead of donations like food and livestock,” reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.

VoxDev

VoxDev spotlights the work of Prof. Abhijit Banerjee, Prof. Esther Duflo and graduate student Garima Sharma in studying the long-term effects targeted programs have on helping poor households escape the poverty trap. “Using a randomized controlled trial that tracked these households four, seven and ten years after the intervention, the authors find that ten years later, treated households consume about 20% more than control group households and earn about 30% more,” writes VoxDev.

On Point- WBUR

WBUR On Point host Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Prof. Amy Glasmeier about defining poverty in the United States. “There is an ‘everybody has to make it on their own’ attitude and until that changes we’re going to be caught in this bind, but I think people themselves are evolving,” says Glasmeier.

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that a one-time economic boost can help improve a person’s income, mental health and productivity even a decade later, reports Kristin Toussaint for Fast Company. “There is one very common concern, that somehow they will become lazy as a result of getting this opportunity; and if anything, we find the opposite. They work a little harder,” says Professor Abhijit Banerjee. “But most importantly, they’re enterprising.” 

NPR

Prof. Azra Aksamija speaks with NPR’s Scott Simon about her book "Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp," which spotlights the inventions and designs created by Syrian refugees at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “For me, you know, what's so powerful about them is they visualize, on the one hand, this ingenuity of human spirit, yes, and resilience but, on the other hand, really, what is missing because people invent what is not provided,” says Aksamija, “and what is not provided are basic ideas of what constitutes human - essential human needs.”

Fast Company

Speaking at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee underscored the need for “governments need to do better in addressing different needs within their populations, and providing variations of cash relief for different circumstances.”

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”

Axios

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Axios reporter Dave Lawler about how the failure of rich countries to share Covid-19 vaccines and financial assistance will exacerbate global poverty and lead to increased resentment. "Nobody is talking of expanding aid,” says Banerjee. “I think the psychology, unfortunately, in rich countries somehow — even though the U.S. is going to grow faster in this year than it has in modern memory — is that we are in dire straits and we need to keep resources.”

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Amy Finkelstein makes the case that cash transfers can do more to help the poor than expanding health insurance. “Cash helps recipients directly, while health insurance would pay mainly for care that many uninsured people were already receiving at low or no cost,” writes Finkelstein.

CNBC

Prof. Amy Glasmeier speaks with Greg Iacuurci of CNBC about the calculator she and her colleagues developed that displays what an actual living wage is in different areas of the country. “People are not surviving on the minimum wage,” says Glasmeier, 

Forbes

Forbes contributor Adi Gaskell spotlights how the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future recently released a comprehensive report examining the future of work. Gaskell writes that the Task Force's report emphasizes the “pressing issues of our time as one of improving the quality of jobs to ensure that prosperity is shared across the economy.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Ryosuke Harada highlights a new MIT report that emphasizes the “importance of education and investment in human resources and warns that in the absence of a strategy, jobs will be lost and divisions in society will widen.”

HuffPost

Prof. Tavneet Suri speaks with HuffPost reporter Laura Paddison about her research exploring the effectiveness of the universal basic income (UBI). “We do think the UBI will provide some ‘insurance’ against bad events,” says Suri. “If something bad happens, you have a fallback.”