The 2019 Nobel Prize for economics goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Monday.
The research conducted by the 2019 Economic Sciences 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 flourishing field of research.
Over 700 million people still subsist on extremely low incomes. Every year, five million children still die before their fifth birthday, often from diseases that could be prevented or cured with relatively cheap and simple treatments.
This year’s Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty. It divides this issue into smaller, more manageable lines of enquiry like, for example, formulating the most effective interventions for improving child health, said a statement from the Nobel Committee.
In the mid-1990s, Mr. Kremer and his colleagues demonstrated how powerful an experiment-based approach can be by using field experiments to test a range of interventions that could improve school results in western Kenya.
Mr. Banerjee and Ms. Duflo, often with Mr. Kremer, soon performed similar studies of other issues and in other countries, including India. Their experimental research methods now entirely dominate development economics.
The 2019 Economic Sciences Laureates’ research findings have dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice. As a result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefitted from programmes of remedial tutoring in schools, the statement said.
The prize, officially known as the ‘Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences In Memory Of Alfred Nobel’, wasn’t created by the prize founder, but it is considered to be part of the Nobel stable of awards.
The prize was created by Riksbanken, the Swedish central bank, in 1968, and the first winner was selected a year later. So far, 81 Nobel laureates in economic sciences have been awarded.
Along with the glory comes a 9-million-kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.
Last week, six Nobel prizes were awarded, for medicine, physics, chemistry, two literature awards, and the coveted Peace Prize.
All awardees but the Peace Prize–winner will receive their awards on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896 in Stockholm. The winner of the Peace Prize receives the award in Oslo, Norway.