Abhijit Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo share Nobel prize in Economics with Micahel Kremer

Abhijit Binayak Banerjee, his wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer shared this years Nobel Economics prize for their work in fighting global poverty. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee on being conferred the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He has made notable contributions in the field of poverty alleviation.”

Abhijit is the fourth Bengali to have won Nobel prize along with Tagore, Yunus Parvez and Amritya Sen.

Mamta Banerjee hailed this scholarly achievement in her tweet with Hearty congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee, “Alumnus of South Point School & Presidency College Kolkata, for winning the Nobel Prize in Economics. Another Bengali has done the nation proud. We are overjoyed.”

Abhijit who did his M.A. in Economics at Jawahar Lal University (JNU) and later went to Harvard for his PhD in Economics in 1988, said when he received the prize, “It’s wonderful to get the prize, it’s a prize not for us but for the entire movement. A movement that is going to be a worldwide movement. There are about 400 professors who are in one form or the other associated who do randomized control trials on issues as diverse as schools in Malaysia, to governance problems in Indonesia, getting children immunized in India. We are a kind of beneficiaries of this movement, this prize will make it little easier to penetrate the many doors that are half open to us, the policies based on evidence will help the poor.”

The first RCT in economics, the stream which gave the trio the award, in India was done under Dr. Esther Duflo’s guidance who has done a lot of studies on poverty alleviation. She said she does not regret coming to MIT to study now that Nobel prize would help advance the movement. The Banerjees have co-authored their new book “Good Economics in Hard Times” which will be out soon. In 2012 Abhijit shared the Gerald Loab Award,  Honorable Mention for Business Book with co-author Esther Duflo  for their book ‘Poor Economics’.

Other famous people who have Kolkotta connection and Nobel prize are Mother Theresa, her work for the poor and Ronald Ross, a Briton who did research in Kolkotta and won Nobel for Medicine in 1902 having discovered malaraial parasite and proved that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.

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