Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee (Photos: MIT, Department of Economics)

Franco-American Esther Duflo, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receives the 51st "Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics", along with colleagues Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, for their work on poverty reduction in the world.

Little known in France, where she was born and did all her studies (Lycée Henri IV and Ecole Normale Supérieure), before joining the MIT, Esther Duflo, 46, is one of the leading economists of her generation, notably in the United States. United. His work earned him the honor of being chosen as a member of Barack Obama's "Presidential Council for Global Development" in 2013.

The work of the winning trio "have significantly improved our ability to fight poverty in the world ", says the release of the Royal Academy of Sciences, "In just two decades, their new experimental approach has transformed the development economy, which is now a flourishing field of research". Harvard professor Michael Kremer was the first to use field experiments in the mid-1990s to test various interventions that could improve educational outcomes in western Kenya. Esther Duflo and Adhijit Banerjee, married in the city, then expanded the approach to other countries and other issues. All three are known to have developed these experimental research methods that today dominate the development economy.

Joined by US radio NPR, Esther Duflo stressed that the goal of the three researchers was to "Make sure the fight against poverty is based on scientific evidence. Often, the poor are reduced to caricatures and very often even people who want to help them understand by the root causes of the problem ".

Only second woman to receive the Nobel Prize in economics after Elinor Ostrom, in 2009, Esther Duflo also pointed out that this award comes at a time when "We begin to realize in the profession that the way we behave with each other, in public and in private, does not necessarily create the best environment for a woman. I hope to show that it is possible for a woman to succeed and be recognized for this success that will inspire many other women to continue working – and many other men to give them the respect they deserve, like every human being. "

The economy prize (which is not officially named "Nobel economics" because was not part of the five awards created by Alfred Nobel in his will) will be officially awarded with the Nobel Prize on December 8. And as for other prizes, the winners will share the endowment of 870,000 euros.


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