So what if India rues not winning an Oscar in the best foreign film category every year; but the global Indian community boasts of and rejoices in the number of Nobel Prizes that Indians at home and abroad have earned to this day. Indian-origin Abhijit Binayak Banerjee has won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his ‘experimental approach to alleviating global poverty’, and he shares it with wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer.
The co-winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences have extensively studied and researched various topics on global poverty in connection with healthcare, education, agriculture, and gender inequality. They created and implemented new antipoverty programs based on their research findings. For instance, the remedial tutoring program which was created and implemented based on one of their studies has benefited more than five million school children in rural pockets of India.
“The research conducted by this year’s Nobel 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 thriving field of research,” said the Nobel committee in a press release.
An Indian American economist of Bengali heritage, Abhijit Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Born in Dhule, Maharashtra, he is an alumnus of Presidency College (now Presidency University) Kolkata, the eminent alumni of which include Swami Vivekananda, Subhash Chandra Bose, Amartya Sen, Satyajit Ray, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Aparna Sen, Ashok Kumar, Sukumar Sen, Jibanananda Das, Shankha Ghosh, Meghnad Saha, Bankim Chandra, Michael Madhusudan Dutt and likes.
An ex-professor of Princeton University in New Jersey, Abhijit Banerjee graduated in economics from the University of Calcutta, pursued post-graduation at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and earned a PhD in economics at Harvard University in 1988.
Abhijit Banerjee and his wife, Esther Duflo, a French American economist have collaboratively penned several books, including “Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty”, which was recognized as the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011. They have co-authored a new book, “Good Economics in Hard Times”, which is expected to out this month.
Esther Duflo is the world’s youngest and second woman to have been a Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences. She is an MIT Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, the Editor of the American Economic Review, a member of the National Academy Sciences, and a member on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). She has widely studied developing countries’ microeconomic issues including household behavior, policy evaluation, access to finance and education for the underprivileged, and likes.
A recipient of the Infosys Prize 2009 and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2004, Abhijit Banerjee shares several prizes and awards with Esther Duflo, like the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, the MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Fellowship, and the Infosys Prize 2014.
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