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Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2019

  • 15 Oct 2019
  • 2 min read

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for 2019 was jointly awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer, for ‘their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.’

  • This year’s laureates have introduced a new approach to obtain reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty. Their approach divides the larger issue into smaller ones that could be easily examined to find out the solution to the problem.
  • The three adopted an evidence-based approach to apply their theory to real-life situations using randomized trials and then assessing the outcomes.
    • For instance, they found that in India, despite immunization being free, women were not bringing in their children for the vaccination shot. The two economists Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo decided to give them a bag of pulses free to women who brought their babies for vaccination. This freebie policy soon spread and the rate of immunization shot up in the region.
    • The field-work based approach that these economists have presented has revolutionized the field of development economics and made it more relevant in policymaking.
  • In this way, the experiment-based approach of the three laureates has transformed the developmental economics and turned it into a flourishing field of research.
    • The trio’s experimental research methods have benefited more than five million Indian children, who are part of remedial tutoring programmes in schools.
  • Esther Duflo has become the second woman to win the prize after Elinor Ostrom of the USA (in 2009). She is also the youngest ever to win the prize.

Source: TH

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