Nobel Prize for Duflo

Eshter Duflo
David Ausserhofer

In 2015, economist Esther Duflo won the A.SK Social Science Award, which the WZB awards every two years since 2007. Now she will receive this year's Nobel Prize for her research on poverty alleviation. Congratulations!

Duflo is the second woman and at the same time the youngest person in the history of the Nobel Prize to receive the Prize in Economics. Alongside Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer are honored "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty". Duflo teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA.

Explaining its decision on awarding the A.SK Social Science Award back in 2015, the international jury emphasized the merits of Esther Duflo’s pursuit of new, promising methods in development economics. “Her research helps us understand poverty in its broader context and answers basic questions: How do poor people live? Which circumstances contribute to keeping them entrenched in poverty? Which policies can help overcome poverty?” The statement pointed out that Duflo draws on randomized controlled trials to test which intervention demonstrably improves people’s livelihoods. In the jury’s view, her work and that of affiliated researchers at J-PAL, which she co-founded, shows the crucial importance of information in policymaking and poverty reduction across the globe.

The A.SK Prize, which is currently endowed with 200,000 dollars, was donated by the Chinese entrepreneurial couple Shu Kai and Angela Chan. This year, donor Shu Kai celebrates his 100th birthday.