Pioneers in Poverty Alleviation Share the Nobel Economics Prize – The New York Times

Mr. Banerjee, born in 1961 in Mumbai, earned his doctorate from Harvard. He is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ms. Duflo, born in 1972 in Paris, is the second woman and the youngest person to be awarded the economics prize. She has a doctorate from M.I.T., where she is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics.

Mr. Kremer, born in 1964, has a doctorate from Harvard, where he is the Gates Professor of Developing Societies.

The researchers’ peers were quick to applaud the prize.

“Congratulations to Banerjee Duflo and Kremer on the Nobel and to the committee for making a prize that seemed inevitable happen sooner rather than later,” Richard Thaler, who won the award in 2017, said on Twitter.

“Fabulous news!” Cass Sunstein, a co-author with Mr. Thaler on a book about behavior economics and a professor at Harvard, wrote on Twitter. He described a recent study by one of the winners as “profound, implication-filled.”

The Nobel committee specifically highlighted a study Mr. Kremer helped write that looked at groups of school children in Kenya in the mid-1990’s. It found that access to extra textbooks did not improve most student outcomes — showing the impediment to learning was not a simple lack of resources.

A subsequent experiment by Ms. Duflo, Mr. Banerjee and their co-authors identified a true barrier to student achievement: teaching methods that were insufficiently shaped to student need. Tutors for low-performing pupils in India improved achievement measurably, and lastingly.

Ms. Duflo and Mr. Kremer have often written joint research, including guides on how to use randomized field experiments, the approach they champion, to study economic questions.


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