Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo: Supervisor-student, husband-wife now co-Nobel prize winners

Banerjee, who is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the MIT, supervised Duflo's PhD with Joshua Angrist in 1990.

Published: 14th October 2019 09:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2019 09:11 PM   |  A+A-

Abhijit Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo

Abhijit Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo (Photo | MIT Website)


NEW DELHI: Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee who has shared a nobel prize in economics with his wife Esther Duflo, was also her PhD supervisor at US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Banerjee, who is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the MIT, supervised Duflo's PhD with Joshua Angrist in 1990.

The PhD dissertation focused on effects of a natural experiment from data of an Indonesian school-expansion program of the 1970s to provide the first conclusive evidence that in a developing country, more education resulted in higher wages.

The duo got married in 2015 and their co-authored book 'Good Economics in Hard Times' will hits the stands this week.

French-American Duflo, is also the youngest person and second woman to be awarded the nobel prize in economics.

The couple have shared the nobel prize with Harvard University professor Michael Kremer for "introducing new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty".

ALSO READ | Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee's mom speechless, remembers how he was drawn to Economics

Duflo and Banerjee have published dozens of research papers, together and with other co-authors.

They have also co-written another book before titled 'Poor Economics' which documented their decades of experience in conducting randomised control trials to alleviate poverty.

Duflo and Banerjee are the sixth and seventh people to win the award while serving as MIT faculty members, following Paul Samuelson (1970), Franco Modigliani (1985), Robert Solow (1987), Peter Diamond (2010), and Bengt Holmstrom (2016) Banerjee was earlier married to Arundhati Tuli Banerjee, a lecturer of literature at MIT.

A JNU and Presidency College alumni, Banerjee is a past president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development, a Research Associate of the NBER, a CEPR research fellow, International Research Fellow of the Kiel Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an Alfred P Sloan Fellow and a winner of the Infosys Prize.

ALSO READ | Tamil Nadu Finance Secretary recalls association with Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo

Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the MIT.


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