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Economics Book Club

Virtual Book Club

We invite you to participate in the first ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT Book Club meeting. It will take place on Wednesday, August 19, from 12 noon until 1:30 p.m.

Here’s the Zoom link:

Your host for this meeting is Dhruv Khurana.

The book to be discussed is Good Economics for Hard Times by Esther Duflo and Abhijeet Banerjee. A description of the book appears below.

This online Book Club is an excellent opportunity to interact with fellow economics students in an informative and fun way. Because of the absence of in-person classes in the Fall semester, it is crucial to take advantage of opportunities to meet and interact with your fellow students.

You can get the book in a couple of ways:

  • Amazon carries the book here:
  • You can sign up for a free trial Audible account (at the same link above) and listen to the book for free, though they will have to cancel their subscription before the trial period ends.
  • Perhaps other ways of accessing the book might exist on the Internet, but we would leave it up to you to pursue any such method of getting the book.

Here is the official description of the book:

The winners of the Nobel Prize show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day.

Figuring out how to deal with today’s critical economic problems is perhaps the great challenge of our time. Much greater than space travel or perhaps even the next revolutionary medical breakthrough, what is at stake is the whole idea of the good life as we have known it.

Immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change--these are sources of great anxiety across the world, from New Delhi and Dakar to Paris and Washington, DC. The resources to address these challenges are there--what we lack are ideas that will help us jump the wall of disagreement and distrust that divides us. If we succeed, history will remember our era with gratitude; if we fail, the potential losses are incalculable.

In this revolutionary book, renowned MIT economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo take on this challenge, building on cutting-edge research in economics explained with lucidity and grace. Original, provocative, and urgent, Good Economics for Hard Times makes a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. It is an extraordinary achievement, one that shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world.



  • How often does the club meet?
  • Where do we meet?
    • Respecting the need to maintain physical distancing, we will meet online on Zoom until we can go back to campus. Then, if we receive great participation, we will move to in-person meetings on campus. 
  • What is the structure of the meetings/sessions?
    • Every session will be an open discussion, where we’ll discuss the major aspects of what we learned--summary, critiques--basically, the good, the bad, & the ugly.
    • Once that’s out of the way, we’ll open the floor for questions that you may have had while reading the book and would like to seek answers to, this could be an economic concept or putting a quote that stood out to you or a topic into a bigger perspective.
    • Anyone from the session can answer the questions. For the first few sessions, a faculty member would moderate the discussion but with time, anyone can sign up to lead the way! 
  • Who can attend/join?
    • We would love to receive participation from students, staff, faculty across all disciplines regardless of the students’ academic standing. 
  • Are these the only books we will read?
    • The list has been carefully curated based on initial interest expressed by students in introductory economics classes. Depending on the evolving tastes of the group, we can choose to elect a different book and discuss it. 
  • Is it mandatory?
    • Absolutely not, this is completely voluntary! But we highly recommend that you join in and participate--even if to just listen! 
  • Do I have to be an Econ major/minor?
    • Not at all, it’s open to everyone!