J-PAL Co-Founders Awarded Nobel Prize for Economics in Anti-Poverty Research

Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics on 14 October 2019 for transforming anti-poverty research and relief.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the trio the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for their ground-breaking work using experimental research methods in development economics to fight global poverty.

In 2003, Professor Duflo and Professor Banerjee co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study and tackle poverty using evidence-based insights. Their work, long intertwined with Professor Kremer’s, emphasises the use of field experiments and randomised controlled trials across a wide range of topics implicated in global poverty, including health care, education, agriculture, and gender issues, while developing new antipoverty programs based on their research.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences praised the achievements of their studies, stating as an example, that more than 5 million Indian children have benefited from programmes of remedial tutoring in schools due to one of their studies.

Professor Duflo is also the youngest recipient of the prize at 46 years old and only the second woman to win since its inception in 1969, Duflo expressed that she felt it was important that a woman was recognised by the academy:

"Showing that it is possible for a woman to succeed and be recognised for success I hope is going to inspire many, many other women to continue working and many other men to give them the respect they deserve."
Professor Esther Duflo
Co-Founder of The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

J-PAL South Asia is a partner of the Chandler Institute of Governance and we are thrilled that J-PAL’s founders have garnered the highest praise for their important work. The current partnership between CIG and J-PAL oversees the formation of a Governance Unit in India and the co-development of state-level training programmes for government officials.

Related Links

Press Release from the Nobel Foundation

Partnership between J-PAL and CIG:
When Evidence Drives Decision Making: CIG’s partner J-PAL South Asia shares their journey in supporting governments

J-PAL South Asia launches governance unit

J-PAL’s Official Website