Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day by Daryl CollinsPortfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day by Daryl Collins

Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day

byDaryl Collins

Paperback | December 19, 2010

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Nearly forty percent of humanity lives on an average of two dollars a day or less. If you've never had to survive on an income so small, it is hard to imagine. How would you put food on the table, afford a home, and educate your children? How would you handle emergencies and old age? Every day, more than a billion people around the world must answer these questions. Portfolios of the Poor is the first book to systematically explain how the poor find solutions to their everyday financial problems.

The authors conducted year-long interviews with impoverished villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa--records that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money. The stories of these families are often surprising and inspiring. Most poor households do not live hand to mouth, spending what they earn in a desperate bid to keep afloat. Instead, they employ financial tools, many linked to informal networks and family ties. They push money into savings for reserves, squeeze money out of creditors whenever possible, run sophisticated savings clubs, and use microfinancing wherever available. Their experiences reveal new methods to fight poverty and ways to envision the next generation of banks for the "bottom billion."

Indispensable for those in development studies, economics, and microfinance, Portfolios of the Poor will appeal to anyone interested in knowing more about poverty and what can be done about it.

Daryl Collins is senior associate at Bankable Frontier Associates in Boston. Jonathan Morduch is professor of public policy and economics at New York University and coauthor of The Economics of Microfinance. Stuart Rutherford is the founder of SafeSave, a microfinance institution in Bangladesh. Orlanda Ruthven recently completed a doc...
Title:Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a DayFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pagesPublished:December 19, 2010Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691148198

ISBN - 13:9780691148199


Table of Contents

List of Tables vii

List of Figures ix

Chapter One: The Portfolios of the Poor 1

Chapter Two: The Daily Grind 28

Chapter Three: Dealing with Risk 65

Chapter Four: Building Blocks: Creating Usefully Large Sums 95

Chapter Five: The Price of Money 132

Chapter Six: Rethinking Microfinance: The Grameen II Diaries 154

Chapter Seven: Better Portfolios 174

Appendix 1: The Story behind the Portfolios 185

Appendix 2: A Selection of Portfolios 211

Acknowledgments 243

Notes 247

Bibliography 265

Index 273

Editorial Reviews

"This is an important, boots-on-the-ground look at how microfinance functions in the developing world. The descriptions of how poor households manage their limited resources are exciting, raw, and novel, and I found myself unable to put the book down."-Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley and coauthor of Economic Gangsters