Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer Awarded Nobel Prize - 2019
Abhijit Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT and a co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). He is a research associate in the NBER programs on Development Economics and Economic Fluctuations and Growth. Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT and a co-director of JPAL. She is a research associate in four NBER programs: Economics of Aging, Children, Development Economics, and Education. Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard, is also a research associate in four NBER programs: Children, Development Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, and Education.
Banerjee, Duflo, and Kremer of Harvard University, all of whom are long-serving NBER research associates, were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. The prize recognizes their contributions to development economics and the study of global poverty, in particular their championing of randomized controlled trials as methodologies for analyzing how a wide range of policy interventions – in health, education, credit markets, and local governance, among others – can contribute to poverty alleviation.
The laureates' work "has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement announcing the award. A key element of the researchers' strategy has been a focus on questions that concern specific contributors to poverty, such as lack of education or poor health. Their central contribution is the recognition that these questions "are often best answered via carefully designed experiments among the people who are most affected."
The full announcement of the Nobel Prize award may be found here; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences also provided a longer explanation of the scientific contributions that underlie this work.
On December 8, 2019, the laureates delivered lectures in Stockholm on the subject of their prize-winning work. Banerjee and Duflo each lectured on "Field Experiments and the Practice of Economics;" Kremer lectured on "Experimentation, Innovation, and Economics."