BOSTON – Three Boston researchers have won the Nobel Prize in Economics for their work in global poverty.
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of MIT, and Michael Kremer of Harvard University were awarded on Monday for their research into effective programs that help combat poverty.
Esther Duflo is the second woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in economics, as well as the youngest ever.
Humbled by her historical win, the 46-year-old Duflo says she hopes to inspire working women while encouraging men to support and respect their female counterparts.
"Showing that it is possible for a woman to succeed and be recognized for success I hope is going to inspire many, many other women to continue working and many other men to give them the respect that they deserve like every single human being," Duflo shared.
As part of their research, the three traveled to locations like India, Mexico, Ethiopia and more to observe poverty-stricken populations and their response to programs involving education, economics and immunizations, as reported by Boston Globe.
‘‘Without spending some time understanding the intricacies of the lives of the poor and why they make the choices they make (...) it is impossible to design the right approach,’’ Duflo stated following her win at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The three were commended for taking a different approach to tackling global poverty by working in the field with a hands-on approach, finding and implementing solutions to smaller problems with trial and error programs, per CNBC.
“This year’s Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty ...They have shown that these smaller, more precise, questions are often best answered via carefully designed experiments among the people who are most affected,” the Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences shared in a statement.
The Academy added: “In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.”
According to Nobel Prize winner Banerjee’s mother, Nirmala Banerjee, the award was unexpected.
‘‘He has been trying to get economics away from the theoretical part, but using theory to understand the world as it is,’’ she said from her home in Kolkata. ‘‘The way it works, the way poverty is, the way people handle poverty.’’
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