Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer
Win Nobel Prize
for Experimental Research Methods that Transformed Development Economics
Abhiit Banerjee Esther Duflo Michael Kremer
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT, and Michael 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 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."
Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor ofEconomics at MIT and a co-director of the Adbul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). He is a research associate in the NBER programs on Development Economics and Economic Fluctuations and Growth.
NBER papers by Abhijit Banerjee
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.
NBER papers by Esther Duflo
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.
NBER papers by Michael Kremer
News reports of Banerjee, Duflo, and Kremer's selection:
The New York Times,
The Wall Street Journal,
The Washington Post,
The Local France
This year's laureates join a group of 29 current or past NBER research affiliates who have received the Nobel Prize in economics:
William Nordhaus and Paul N. Romer, 2018;
Richard Thaler, 2017;
Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström, 2016;
Angus Deaton, 2015;
Lars Hansen and Robert Shiller, 2013;
Alvin Roth, 2012;
Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims, 2011;
Peter Diamond, 2010;
Paul Krugman, 2008;
Edward C. Prescott and Finn Kydland, 2004;
Robert F. Engle, 2003;
Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001;
James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden, 2000;
Robert C. Merton and Myron S. Scholes, 1997;
Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1995;
the late: Dale Mortensen, 2010;
Robert W. Fogel, 1993;
Gary S. Becker, 1992;
George J. Stigler, 1982;
Theodore W. Schultz, 1979;
Milton Friedman, 1976;
and Simon Kuznets, 1971.
In addition, six current or past members of the NBER Board of Directors have received the Nobel Prize:
George Akerlof, 2001;
Robert Solow, 1987;
the late: William Vickrey, 1996;
Douglass North, 1993;
James Tobin, 1981;
and Paul Samuelson, 1970.