Nobel Prize: Economists who study poverty win award

Clay Curtis
October 14, 2019

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded Monday to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".

Banerjee is a co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (along with economists Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan), a research affiliate of Innovations for poverty action, and a member of the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty.

Elinor Ostrom won the award in 2009 and is also the youngest ever to receive the economics award. It was created by Riksbanken, the Swedish central bank, in 1968, and the first victor was selected a year later.

The research conducted by the 2019 Economic Sciences Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty.

Unlike the other Nobel awards, which inventor and founder Alfred Nobel established in his final will upon his death in 1895, the prize in Economic Sciences was first awarded in 1969.

"Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, often with Michael Kremer, soon performed similar studies of other issues and in other countries, including India".

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The trio have collaborated on research for years in the fast-growing field of development economics together.

He is now the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kremer, 54, is an economist at Harvard, and has won several prizes, including the MacArthur Fellowship, for his work on developing economies.

She shared the award equally with Indian-born American Banerjee and Kremer, also of the United States.

Economics is the last of the awards to be announced with the winners for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace having been unveiled over the course of last week. The winners were Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austria's Peter Handke. The chemistry prize was awarded on October 9 to a trio of pioneers of the modern lithium-ion battery, M. Stanley Whittingham, Akira Yoshino and John Goodenough.

The three economists win a 9 million Swedish crown ($915,300) prize. The victor of the Peace Prize receives the award in Oslo, Norway.

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