Stockholm, October 14
Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, his wife Esther Duflo and another economist Michael Kremer jointly won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize today “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.
Banerjee and French-American Duflo both work at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while Kremer is at Harvard University.
Duflo, 46-year-old former adviser to ex-US president Barack Obama, is the second woman and the youngest ever to win this prize.
The prize includes 9 million-kronor ($918,000) cash, a gold medal and a diploma. The winners will equally share the prize money.
“The research conducted by this year’s Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
They have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty, it added.
As a direct result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefitted from effective programmes of remedial tutoring in schools. Another example is the heavy subsidies for preventive healthcare that have been introduced in many countries, it added.
Duflo said receiving the prize was “incredibly humbling”.
Banerjee, 58, was educated at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 1988. He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to his profile on the MIT website.
Duflo, born in 1972, is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
Harvard passout now teaches at MIT
- Banerjee is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after he had taught at Harvard University and Princeton University
- His work focuses on development economics. Together with Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer, John A List and Sendhil Mullainathan, he has proposed field experiments as an important methodology to discover causal relationships in economics
- He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004
- Was honoured with the Infosys Prize 2009 in the social sciences category of economics. He is also the recipient of the inaugural Infosys Prize in the category of social sciences
- In 2012, he shared the Gerald Loeb Award Honorable Mention for Business Book with co-author Esther Duflo for their book Poor Economics
- In 2013, he was named by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to a panel of experts tasked with updating the Millennium Development Goals after 2015
Born: February 21, 1961 (58), Kolkata
Spouse: Arundhati Tuli Banerjee (divorced)
Esther Duflo (married in 2015-present)
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Field: Development Economics
Alma mater: South Point School, Calcutta
Presidency University, Calcutta (1981)
Jawaharlal Nehru University (1983)
Harvard University (1988)
Doctoral adviser: Eric Maskin
Doctoral student: Esther Duflo
Banerjee supervised Duflo’s PhD with Joshua Angrist in 1990. The duo got married in 2015 and their co-authored book ‘Good Economics in Hard Times’ will hits the stands this week.
Kremer, 54, is a development economist, who is currently the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University. — PTI
Has made notable contribution: PM
Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee on being conferred the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He has made notable contributions to the field of poverty alleviation — Narendra Modi, Prime Minister
Very very happy and delighted: Sen
I am very very happy and delighted over Abhijit Binayak Banerjee jointly winning the Nobel in Economics. I think that the prize has been given to the most competent persons — Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate
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