The 2019 Nobel Prize for economics goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Monday.
Indian-born Banerjee is an American citizen, while Esther Duflo is French-American. Michael Kremer is from the US.
Duflo and Banerjee, who are married, work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), while Michael Kremer teaches at Harvard University. The award is known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Banerjee was born in Mumbai. His father, Dipak Banerjee, was head of the department of Economics in Presidency College. Banerjee studied in South Point School, and then in Presidency College, where he completed Bachelors degree in economics. He did his Masters from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and PhD from Harvard.
According to the announcement, “Despite recent dramatic improvements, one of humanity’s most urgent issues is the reduction of global poverty, in all its forms. More than 700 million people still subsist on extremely low incomes. Every year, around five million children under the age of five still die of diseases that could often have been prevented or cured with inexpensive treatments. Half of the world’s children still leave school without basic literacy and numeracy skills.”
“This year’s Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty. In brief, it involves dividing this issue into smaller, more manageable, questions – for example, the most effective interventions for improving educational outcomes or child health. They have shown that these smaller, more precise, questions are often best answered via carefully designed experiments among the people who are most affected”.
Duflo is the youngest person to win the Economics Nobel.