"Living Standards in Southeast Asia is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in South East Asian development over the last century. It is a highly useful introduction to an overwhelming body of literature; no one knows more about the measurement of long-run living standards in South East Asia than Booth, and this book proves it. Moreover, the book contains clear warnings against the uncritical use of quantitative estimates of living standards, not only for scholars working on South East Asia but for economists and economic historians more generally. Indeed, it is a recommended read for all those quantitatively-inclined researchers working with (historical) development measures."
- Pim de Zwart, Wageningen University, South East Asia Research (2022)
"Economic history is one of those rare academic disciplines where scholarly impact and creative insights tend to improve with the author’s age. Now in her seventies, Anne Booth exemplifies this tendency nicely. Her fifth solely authored book under review here is chock-a-block full of methodological critiques of the status of poverty studies, and development economics more broadly. Only a seasoned scholar would have the depth of experience, and confidence, to lay out not just what the statistical record shows about improvements in Southeast Asian living standards over the ‘long century’ from 1900 to 2015, but also what is wrong with those statistics (a lot!) and with the conceptual underpinnings of the measurements themselves."
- C. Peter Timmer, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Vol. 56, No. 2
"Living standards is a book for experts. It is a paragon of careful, cautious, fully caveated scholarship, which experts rightfully admire; and which undergraduate students, policymakers, and general audiences typically cannot abide. Booth never jumps to conclusions. She tiptoes, very carefully. [...] The book requires careful, slow reading to fully take in Booth’s vital arguments. For all that, it is a landmark analysis of the living standards across Southeast Asia over the twentieth century. If there is still good social science—and economic history—being done throughout the twenty-first century and beyond, Living standards will be a cornerstone of such work."
- Eric C. Thompson, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 53, Iss. 3