Nobel Laureates Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer to Build Unique Support System for Researchers

Kolkata: After deciding to donate their prize money to the Weiss Fund, Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, winners of this year's Nobel prize in economics, have announced that they will work on a support base system exclusively for “brilliant researchers” from poor countries.

Speaking to News18 from Stockholm in Sweden, Banerjee, said, “We are happy to donate our prize money in shaping dreams of young economists through the Weiss Fund for research. We are also planning to work on helping some of the brilliant researchers from various poor countries so that they can give their best in this global competition (Nobel).”

Banerjee, along with his wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer won the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

They have decided to donate their prize money to the Weiss Fund for research in development economics.

“There are many excellent researchers from poor countries who are doing great work but could not make to it to global competitions like Nobel. Their work was not highlighted properly. I hope our support, in terms of guidance and other possible requirements, will help those researchers in presenting their work on the right platform,” he said.

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.

Donations from the three economists will amount to approximately 916,000 dollars (Rs 6.5 crore) and will be used to fund research grants through 2035.

“I want that more and more researchers should come up with ideas on how the problem of poverty can be tackled by going deep in to the problem. I think it is our responsibility to stand besides those mainly from the poor countries to work on this (on poverty eradication),” Banerjee said.

Earlier, in the wake of State Bank of India’s move to write off bad loans worth Rs 76,600 crore of 220 defaulters, Banerjee had pointed out the problems in the banking system.

In an interview to News18, he had said, “The banking system is facing a huge problem at present. I think it’s been messed up for many, many years and, as a result, it’s a deep problem the’s a lot of money that needs to be spent and the government doesn’t have that kind of money to fix the banks. I really think this is an opportunity to sell the banks (ailing ones).”

“This is alarming. I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is more. I mean just the pattern seems to be very revealing. No one is saying anything. The RBI is not very vigilant in giving warning to these banks and suddenly we find this crisis,” he had said.