2019 Economics Nobel laureates to donate prize money to fund research

(From left) Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer, the winners of 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, winners of this year’s Nobel prize in economics will donate their prize money to the Weiss Fund, administered by Harvard University, for research in development economics.

Banerjee, who jointly won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer said, "We truly believe that this Nobel award is an award for the development economics community." 

“We are so pleased to apply our funds in this way and open up the opportunity for development economists all around the world,” a US-based newspaper quoted him saying.

The donations will total approximately Rs 6.5 crore and will be used to fund research grants through 2035.

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 trio 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.

Born in Mumbai, Banerjee is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He studied at the University of Calcutta and Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University before receiving his PhD in 1988 from Harvard University.

Duflo, who was born in 1972 in Paris, obtained her PhD in 1999 from MIT. With Banerjee, she co-authored the book, 'Poor Economics'. She is only the second woman and the youngest to win the Nobel in Economic Sciences. Kremer, who was born in 1964, got his doctorate from Harvard in 1992.

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