A trio of economists were awarded the Nobel Prize on Monday for their work to alleviate global poverty. Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer pioneered an approach to poverty reduction that was based on carefully designed experiments.
Duflo, a 46-year-old professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the youngest person and second woman to be awarded the prize. Mumbai-born Banerjee, her husband, is also a professor at MIT. Kremer is a professor at Harvard.
As a direct result of their research, more than 5 million Indian children had benefited from remedial tutoring in schools, while many countries had introduced heavy subsidies for preventive health care, according to a statement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the prize.
Peter Fredrikkson, chairman of the economic sciences prize committee, told reporters that their work tested the impact of specific interventions in areas such as agriculture, health and education, and “reshaped development economics, had a clear impact on policy and improved our ability to fight global poverty.”
Duflo said via a phone call that “the essence of our research is to make sure that the fight against poverty is based on scientific evidence.”