Three economists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University were awarded this year’s Nobel prize for their research into how to move people out of poverty.
Husband and wife Abhijit Banerjee, a 58-year-old who was born in India, and Esther Duflo, who was born in France in 1972, both professors at MIT, shared the prize with Harvard’s Michael Kremer “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,” The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Monday. “In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.”
The academy’s decision to honor work dedicated to fighting poverty, which it said is among today’s most “urgent issues,” comes as inequality grows into one of the most widely debated topics in the field of economics amid a rapid rise in income disparity over the past decades. Last year, the academy rewarded research that incorporated climate issues and technological advancement into economics.
Duflo is the second woman and the youngest person ever to win the economics prize, which has existed for half a century. In 2010, she won the John Bates Clark medal, after being identified as the economist under the age of 40 who contributed most to the profession.