Najib Anwar, The Background:
Indian-born economist Abhijit Banerjee, his French-American wife Esther Duflo and the US’ Michael Kremer on Monday were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
“The research conducted by the 2019 Economic Sciences laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which now a flourishing field of research,” a statement from the Nobel Prize twitter handle said.
The three economists “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,” the press release said.
It further said, “The Laureates’ research findings – and those of the researchers following in their footsteps – have dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice. 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.”
Born in Mumbai, 58-year-old Banerjee completed his B.S. degree in economics in 1981 from the Presidency College at the University of Calcutta. He completed his Masters in economics from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 1983. He acquired his PhD degree from Harvard University five years later. Banerjee is is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Duflo is also from MIT, while Kremer is the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University. He also founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab along with economists Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan. Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab is a research affiliate of Innovations for poverty action.
Reacting to Banerjee’s Nobel Prize honour, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi too tweeted to congratulate the trio Nobel Prize winners.
Cover Illustration of Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. Photo: Twitter/@NobelPrize
Input from Agencies