2019 Nobel Laureates in Economics to Donate Prize Money to Harvard-run Fund for Research: Report

News18.com

New Delhi: Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, who jointly won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, will donate his prize money to the Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics, 'The Boston Globe' reported on Saturday.

Duflo, who is married to Banerjee, and Kremer will also donate their Nobel prize money to the Weiss Fund that is administered by Harvard University.

The Weiss Fund for research in development economics supports research by undergraduates, graduate students and junior and senior faculty at Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley.

The donations from the three economists will total approximately $916,000 (or Rs 6.5 crore) and will be used to fund research grants through 2035.

“We truly believe that this Nobel award is an award for the development economics community,” the newspaper quoted Banerjee as saying. “We are so pleased to apply our funds in this way and open up opportunity for development economists all around the world.”

The trio of economists won the Nobel Prize earlier this year for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences had said that the work of the three economists had shown how the problem of poverty could be tackled by breaking it down into smaller and more precise questions in areas such as education and healthcare, making problems easier to tackle.

Banerjee, 58, was educated at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D in 1988. He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to his profile on the MIT website.

In 2003, Banerjee founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan, and he remains one of the directors of the lab. He also served on the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Banerjee is a past president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development, a Research Associate of the NBER, a CEPR research fellow, International Research Fellow of the Kiel Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an Alfred P Sloan Fellow and a winner of the Infosys prize.

He is the author of a large number of articles and four books, including Poor Economics, which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. He is the editor of three more books and has directed two documentary films.

Duflo, born in 1972 in Paris, received her PhD in 1999 from MIT. She is only the second woman and the youngest to win the Nobel in Economic Sciences.

In her research, she seeks to understand the economic lives of the poor, with the aim to help design and evaluate social policies. Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the MIT.

She has worked on health, education, financial inclusion, environment and governance. Duflo's first degrees were in history and economics from Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris.

She has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences (2015), the A.SK Social Science Award (2015), Infosys Prize (2014), the David N Kershaw Award (2011), a John Bates Clark Medal (2010), and a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship (2009).

With Banerjee, she co-authored the book, 'Poor Economics'. Duflo is the Editor of the American Economic Review. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.