New Delhi: Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics along with his wife Esther Duflo, and another economist Michael Kremer. Here are 10 things to know about the Indian-origin economist and their joint research.
1. Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee was born (1961) in India went to South Point School, Kolkata. He went to President College to complete his BS degree in Economics. He completed his masters from JNU. He was awarded a PhD in Economics at Harvard in 1988.
2. In 2003, he founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with his French-American wife Duflo, who is also an MIT professor, and Sendhil Mullainathan.
3. He is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His Book Poor Economics won Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.
4. Both his parents were Economics professors.
5. Abhijit Banerjee was behind Rahul Gandhi’s Minimum Income Plan which Gandhi promised before Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
6. He also served on the UN secretary-general’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
7. Coming back to the research that won Banerjee and others the Nobel prize, they have introduced a new approach to obtain reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty.
8. According to one of their studies, more than 5 million Indian children have benefitted from programmed of remedial tutoring in schools.
9. A finding of the trio says curricula and teaching do not correspond to pupils’ needs. There is a high level of absenteeism among teachers and educational institutions are generally weak.
Low service quality is another explanation of why poor families invest so little in preventive measures. One example is that staff at the health centres that are responsible for vaccinations are often absent from work. Banerjee, Duflo et al. investigated whether mobile vaccination clinics – where the care staff were always on site – could fix this problem. Vaccination rates tripled in the villages that were randomly selected to have access to these clinics, at 18 per cent compared to 6 per cent
10. Abhijit and Esther Duflo’s latest book — Good Economics for Hard Times — is due to release this months.