Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer: The holy trinity of Development Economics

Announced by the Swedish academy on Monday three economists will share the Economics Nobel Prize for their “experimental approach to alleviating poverty”.

The three economists are Indian Bengali Abhijit Banerjee of the US, his French-American wife Esther Duflo, a former advisor to ex-US president Barack Obama and Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University.

From field experiments to Nobel Prize

In the 1990s Kremer launched a number of field experiments in the western side of Kenya, in order to improve the educational results of the area.

Banerjee and Duflo developed similar studies relating to the same subject. According to the Nobel committee, their research now “entirely dominates” development studies. The committee further mentions how their effort not only helped more than five million children but also preventive healthcare now subsidies in a number of countries.

Michael Kremer, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo

The three laureates were among the first to attempt to measure the effects of real poverty alleviation. This includes covering a wide range of areas, access to credit, preventive healthcare, and the adoption of new technologies.

This research showed how to increase vaccination rates, educational standards in schools, creating a positive purpose throughout the globe.

Youngest Nobel winner, a power couple and a triumph for aspiring economists

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two of the three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, speaking at a news conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Duflo, 46, is the youngest and the second woman ever to receive the award for a prize in Economic Science. Speaking on phone moments after the awards, Duflo also mentions how the field of economics should treat women with more respect, saying

“We are at a time when we are starting to realize in the profession that the way we conduct each other privately and publicly, is not conducive all the time to a very good environment for women. Showing that it is possible for a women to succeed, and to be recognized for success, I hope will inspire many many other women to continue working, and many many other men to give them the respect they deserve, like every single human being.”

On the other hand, Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo became yet another couple to win the Nobel Prize. The committee released a “Partners in Science” list to mark and commemorate them and other couples who have previously achieved to make the same success together.

“Apart from being the power couple, let us also look at how this trio is basically a trend setter for the rest of the aspiring economists all over the world. They are great researchers, writers and economists and personally I believe its a great initiative to see someone from the developing sector to win it because, they can add more of their perspectives into work. If we notice their work we can see that it is not only about fetching data, rather it is about researching and implementing the subject with a purpose.”

Says Israr Hasan, an Economics student from Brac University.

The researches also conducted an initial study on microcredit programs or giving small loans to underdeveloped households in Hyderabad, India.