UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

A new look at an old problem: Why do so many poor children miss out on essential immunizations?

Cover Image
AUTHOR Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
ORGANIZATION
TYPE Policy Brief
DATE 2011
TOPIC Child poverty and disparities
LANGUAGE English, French and Spanish
ABSTRACT

The new book Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, is an attempt to synthesize what authors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have learned from fifteen years of work with the poor worldwide. Each chapter addresses a different facet of development, from education and entrepreneurship to microfinance and health, but in each case they draw upon the extensive body of evidence now available about the poor (from their work and that of others) and upon what they have learned from our personal encounters with poor people all over the world to identify patterns that provide insight into our central question—How is it that the poor can start with the same desires and abilities as everyone else, and yet end up with completely different lives?

In this essay they focus on one particular question that is central to UNICEF’s mission. Immunization is recognized as one of the most effective and most cost effective ways to save life. And yet, according to the World Health Organization every year, 27 million children do not receive the essential vaccinations that are part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization. Given the well-established benefits, and the resources that individual countries and the international community devote to this problem, why do so many poor children miss out on essential immunizations?

Also available in French and Spanish.


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