STOCKHOLM: Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer jointly won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” “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,” said the Nobel committee in a statement.
Banerjee, 58, is an alumnus of South Point School in the city and Presidency College, Calcutta, where he completed his BSC degree in economics in 1981. He 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.
In 2003, Banerjee founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan, and he remains one of the lab’s directors. He also served on the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The Presidency University said that it is a proud moment for the institute that Banerjee, one of its alumni and mentor group members is a joint winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the work of the three economists had shown how the problem of poverty could be tackled by breaking it down into smaller and more precise questions in areas such as education and healthcare, making problems easier to tackle. “As a direct result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefited from effective programmes of remedial tutoring in school,” the Academy said in a statement.