Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, 2019 in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, the Swedish Academy announced on Monday, October 14th, 2019.

“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,” stated the Nobel committee. The prize money of 9 million Swedish Kronor will be shared equally between the three laureates. And each of them would also receive a gold medal and a diploma.

While the yearly Nobel Prizes recognizing achievements in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Peace, and Literature are awarded since 1901 as per the will of Alfred Nobel, the Prize in Economic Sciences was added by Sweden’s Central Bank much later in 1968 and is awarded since 1969. It is considered to be a part of the Nobel awards.

Abhijit Banerjee, 58, is an economist who’s an author of several articles and 4 books and director of 2 documentaries. Esther Duflo, 46, is a receiver of numerous academic honors. She hopes to inspire women to continue working and men to give them the respect they deserve. Abhijeet Banerjee and Duflo, the husband and wife duo, have co-authored the widely acclaimed ‘Poor Economics’ that has been translated in 17 languages and was awarded the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year in 2011. This book better describes the world of the poor, the world’s poorest. It is presenting data, asking the right questions, thought-provoking, and effective policy inducing. They co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. It is a global research centre committed to injecting scientific evidence into poverty-reduction policy. They are both professors at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The third new Nobel laureate in Economics, Michael Kremer experimented with deworming in Kenya and showed that mass treatment of children with deworming drugs had reduced school absenteeism by 25 percent and had been more effective than other ways of boosting attendance. Kremer is a strong proponent of conducting economic policy experiments on randomly assigned groups and evaluating them. He is also associated with Banerjee and Duflo’s Poverty Action Lab. Over the years, Kremer has received innumerable awards.

All three laureates by their studies and research have improved the tools to fight global poverty. The Economics Prize wraps up this Nobel season!

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GREG RAKOZY NIKLAS ELMEHED

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