About these Teaching Notes These teaching notes are part of a series of resources from Our World in Data.They have been designed to support those interested in teaching and learning about global development, and they require no background knowledge. Here we touch on the following questions: How does the general health situation of people in poor countries compare to the health of people in rich countries? How are population health outcomes changing over time? How difficult is it to improve health outcomes in poor countries? What does this all mean in terms of policy? For more teaching material visit: ourworldindata.org/teaching-notes
"The poor seem to be trapped by the same kinds of problems that afflict the rest of us – lack of information, weak beliefs, and procrastination among them. It is true that we who are not poor are somewhat better educated and informed, but the difference is small because, in the end, we actually know very little, and almost surely less than we imagine. Our real advantage comes from the many things that we take as given. We live in houses where clean water gets piped in—we do not need to remember to add Chlorine to the water supply every morning. The sewage goes away on its own—we do not actually know how."
(Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics, Page 77)
"We should recognize that no one is wise, patient, or knowledgeable enough to be fully responsible for making the right decisions for his or her own health. For the same reason that those who live in rich countries live a life surrounded by invisible nudges, the primary goal of health-care policy in poor countries should be to make it as easy as possible for the poor to obtain preventive care, while at the same time regulating the quality of treatment that people can get."
(Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics, Page 78)
About the author: Esteban Ortiz-Ospina is an economist at the University of Oxford. He is a Senior Researcher at the Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development. About Our World in Data:Our World in Data is an online publication that shows how living conditions are changing. The aim is to give a global overview and to show changes over the very long run, so that we can see where we are coming from, where we are today, and what is possible for the future. www.ourworldindata.org | @eortizospina