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Curiosity rewarded

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16.10.2019

The Sveriges Riksbank prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 was jointly awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. Esther Duflo is now the youngest economist ever to get a Nobel Prize for Economics and only the second woman to receive it.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have been declared winners of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. (Photo: Reuters)

This announcement merits high praise and is significant on several counts.

Scientific approach

First, the laureates, despite their relatively young age (from the perspective of receiving a Nobel) have been instrumental in the push for evidence-based policy diagnosis in the field of development economics, which was seen as one of the peripheral fields of marginal thinking. In its current form, the discipline owes a lot to the contributions made by these three economists.

Their collective works have also bridged a wide gap between 'theory' and 'praxis', the bane of traditional neoclassical economics. Kremer initiated some of these aspects with his experiments on field-design during his work on de-worming in Kenyan schools. Duflo and Banerjee expanded this micro-experimental design to many more countries.

Over time, through their interventions, developing nations (like India) could change policy designs on improving delivery outcomes for........

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