Raghuram Rajan on 'Doing Poorly by Doing Good'

> Posted by Center Staff
From time to time, a piece of commentary comes across our desk that’s so balanced and precise that we want to the whole world to know about it. That’s the case with Raghuram Rajan’s “Doing Poorly by Doing Good.”
“[I]n much of the world, doing well still implies that you must be up to no good, especially if you are dealing with the poor,” writes Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago and former chief economist of the IMF.
Rajan, the author of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, walks us through ways in which this line of reasoning is flawed.
Dr. Rajan’s crisp writing style must be one reason his book recently won the The Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. Another may be his talent for balancing the views of microfinance skeptics and advocates.
In “Doing Poorly by Doing Good,” he performs this balancing act with great skill and fairness, drawing illustrations from the Andhra Pradesh crisis.
It’s not hard to find a wealth of poorly researched and poorly reasoned commentary about microfinance in general and Andhra Pradesh in specific. That makes “Doing Poorly by Doing Good” all the more valuable – and worth the read.