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Global: Three win Nobel Prize in Economics

 |  October 14, 2019

A trio of researchers from Cambridge, Mass., has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics for their work in addressing global poverty.  Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo share the prize with Michael Kremer of Harvard.

“This year’s Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

Kremer pioneered an experimental approach in Kenya in the 1990s, and he was soon joined by Duflo and Banerjee. Their key innovation has been in breaking the issues of global poverty into smaller questions that can be more easily addressed, the academy said.

“Our goal is to make sure that the fight against poverty is based on scientific evidence,” Duflo told reporters Monday. “It starts from the idea that often the poor are reduced to caricatures and often, even people who try to help them do not actually understand what are the deep roots of the problem.”

The Nobel committee said the experimental approach — now followed by hundreds of researchers and non-profits around the world — had been an important guide for policymakers.

“It provides evidence of what works and why,” said Jakob Svensson, an economist at Stockholm University. “Some interventions have been scaled up. Others have influenced policy more indirectly, and some policies have been abandoned simply because they were proven to be ineffective, thereby saving resources that governments or NGOs can use on more productive or effective policies.”

Full Content: NPR, Nobel Prize

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