Banerjee, a professor at MIT, shares the coveted prize with his wife, Esther Duflo, and Harvard’s Michael Kremer.
Indian American economist Abhijit Banerjee and his wife, Esther Duflo, will share this year’s Noble Prize in Economic Sciences with Harvard economist Michael Kremer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Monday.
They are being recognized “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty,” the Stockholm-based Academy said in a press release. “The research conducted by this year’s Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty,” it said. “In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.”
The three economists will share 9 million Swedish Krona ($915,164).
Banerjee, who is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the second Indian American economist to win the Nobel Prize. Harvard Professor Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998.
Banerjee, who was born in Maharashtra, has great economics pedigree. His parents, Nirmala and Dipak Banerjee, were both economics professors.
After completing his master’s degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Banerjee came to the United States to enroll for a PhD at Harvard University.
His spouse, Duflo is a French American. Currently she is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT.
Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University, is considered a pioneer in the field.
The Academy said in the press release that the research of the three economists is “helping us fight poverty.”
It pointed out that despite “recent dramatic improvements, one of humanity’s most urgent issues is the reduction of global poverty, in all its forms,” with more than 700 million people still subsisting “on extremely low incomes.”
The Academy added: “This year’s Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty. In brief, it involves dividing this issue into smaller, more manageable, questions – for example, the most effective interventions for improving educational outcomes or child health. They have shown that these smaller, more precise, questions are often best answered via carefully designed experiments among the people who are most affected.”