Sticky Economy’s Social Consequences

Book review: Banerjee A. V., Duflo E. (2019) Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems, New York: Public Affairs. 432 p

  • Наталия Мещерякова
Keywords: sticky economy, tribalization, polarization, inequality, immigration, universal basic income


The book Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems is the answer of the 2019 Nobel laureates in Economics Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo to the fundamental challenges of modernity. Its pages are devoted to the questions: why do economists and other social researchers offer ineffective responses to global challenges? What are the dangers of stereotypical thinking and outdated economic schemes and theories? Why can't we rely only on the scientist's intuition? What is the power of painstaking social research based on experimental methods and careful processing of facts? Why are there no universal recipes for economic growth? Why is each national variant of socioeconomic development unique? What role do traditions and values play in these options? Why does the growth of income inequality turn into a polarization of ideologies and political positions, leading to an increase in intolerance, racism, tribalization, and so on? How do ideological approaches and populism become a distorting lens of reality? Why do the anger and despair associated with personal injuries and failures turn into anti-immigrant rhetoric and wallbuilding? Why does the idea of a universal basic income not find empirical support and what can replace it? All readers and researchers who are interested in these issues will be introduced to a large-scale, thorough study based on the generalization and analysis of a wide range of social surveys and other studies with the widest regional coverage. The authors strive to dispense with the prevailing stereotypes in science, relying only on facts and their experimental confirmation. The book is written in a very lucid literary style, with a certain amount of humor.

Author Biography

Наталия Мещерякова

Professor of Sociology at Tomsk Polytechnic University. Address: 634050, Lenin Str., 30 Tomsk, Russian Federation.

How to Cite
МещеряковаН. (2020). Sticky Economy’s Social Consequences. Journal of Economic Sociology, 21(4), 125-138. Retrieved from
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