The 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Banerjee (left), Duflo (centre) and Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".
  • 15 October 2019
  • 10 December 2019
Presented byRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Reward(s)10 million SEK (2019)[1]
First awarded1969
WebsiteOfficial website
← 2018 · Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences · 2020 →

The 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded jointly to the economist couple Abhijit Banerjee (born 1961), Esther Duflo-Banerjee (born 1972) and their colleague Michael Kremer (born 1964) "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".[2][3][4] Banerjee and Duflo are the sixth married couple to jointly win a Nobel Prize.[5][6][7] The press release of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted:

"The research conducted by this year's Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research. They have laid the foundations of the best way to design measures that reduce global poverty"[3][8]

Their key contribution to economics is the usage of randomized controlled trials (RCT) in development economics.[3][4]


Michael Kremer, Esther Duflo, and Gregg L. Semenza (Medicine laureate) at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on the night before the annual Prize Award Ceremony, 9 December 2022

Abhijit Banerjee

Main article: Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee was born to a Bengali father and to a Marathi mother in Mumbai.[9] His father, Dipak Banerjee, was a professor of economics at Presidency College, Calcutta,[10] and his mother Nirmala Banerjee (née Patankar), a professor of economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.[11][12] His father, Dipak Banerjee, earned a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.[13] He received his school education in South Point High School, a renowned educational institution in Calcutta. After his schooling, he took admission at Presidency College, then an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta and now an autonomous university, where he completed his BSc(H) degree in economics in 1981. Later, he completed his M.A. in economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi in 1983.[14] While studying in JNU, he was arrested and imprisoned in Tihar Jail during a protest after students gheraoed the then Vice Chancellor PN Srivastava of the university. He was released on bail and charges were subsequently dropped against the students.[15] Later, he went on to obtain a PhD from Harvard University in 1988. The subject of his doctoral thesis was "Essays in Information Economics."[16] In 2015, Banerjee married his co-researcher, MIT professor Esther Duflo; they have two children.[17][18]

Esther Duflo-Banerjee

Main article: Esther Duflo

Duflo was born in 1972 in Paris, the daughter of pediatrician Violaine Duflo and mathematics professor Michel Duflo. During Duflo's childhood, her mother often participated in medical humanitarian projects.[19][20] After studying in the B/L program of Lycée Henri-IV's Classes préparatoires, Duflo began her undergraduate studies at École normale supérieure in Paris, planning to study history, her interest since childhood. In her second year, she began considering a career in the civil service or politics. She spent ten months in Moscow starting in 1993. She taught French and worked on a history thesis that described how the Soviet Union "had used the big construction sites, like the Stalingrad tractor factory, for propaganda, and how propaganda requirements changed the actual shape of the projects."[19] She finished her degree in history and economics at École Normale Supérieure in 1994 and received a master's degree from DELTA, now the Paris School of Economics, jointly with the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) of the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) and the École Normale Supérieure, in 1995. Subsequently, she obtained a PhD degree in economics at MIT in 1999, under the joint supervision of Abhijit Banerjee and Joshua Angrist. Her doctoral dissertation focused on effects of a natural experiment involving an Indonesian school-expansion program in the 1970s, and it provided conclusive evidence that in a developing country, more education resulted in higher wages.[19] Upon completing her doctorate, she was appointed assistant professor of economics at MIT and has been at MIT ever since, aside from a leave at Princeton University in 2001–2002, and at the Paris School of Economics in 2007 and 2017.[21]

Michael Kremer

Main article: Michael Kremer

Michael Robert Kremer was born in 1964 to Eugene and Sara Lillian (née Kimmel) Kremer in New York City.[22] He graduated from Harvard University (A.B. in Social Studies in 1985 and Ph.D. in economics in 1992).[23][24] A postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1992 to 1993, Kremer was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago in Spring 1993, and professor at MIT from 1993 to 1999. From 1999 to 2020, he was a professor at Harvard University. He joined the faculty at the University of Chicago as a professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the college, and the Harris School of Public Policy on September 1, 2020.[23][25]


  1. ^ "The Nobel Prize amounts". Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  2. ^ The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019
  3. ^ a b c Wearden, Graeme (14 October 2019). "Nobel Prize in Economics won by Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b Hannon, Dominic Chopping and Paul (14 October 2019). "Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded for Work Alleviating Poverty". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  5. ^ Nobel Prize-awarded couples
  6. ^ "Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo Winning the Nobel Prize Together is #CoupleGoals". News 18. 20 August 2022. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  7. ^ Nathaniel Whelan (10 July 2020). "Couples Who Won The Nobel Prize". Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  8. ^ The Prize in Economic Sciences 2019 – Press Release
  9. ^
  10. ^ Javed, Zeeshan; Ghosh, Dwaipayan; Basu, Somdatta (15 October 2019). "Abhijit Banerjee moved from Statistical Institute to Presidency". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  11. ^ Bagchi, Suvojit (15 October 2019). "Just happy, says Abhijit Banerjee's economist-mother". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  12. ^ Mazumdar, Jhinuk (15 October 2019). "Abhijit likes cinema, music, cooking & walking: Mother". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  13. ^ Teachers do not die - Dipak Banerjee (1930-2007)
  14. ^ "Abhijit Banerjee Short Bio". Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Department of Economics. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Abhijit Banerjee CV". Archived from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  17. ^ Gapper, John (16 March 2012). "Lunch with the FT: Esther Duflo". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Esther's baby". Project Syndicate. 23 March 2012. Archived from the original on 27 November 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  19. ^ a b c "The Poverty Lab". The New Yorker. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  20. ^ Gapper, John (17 March 2012). "Lunch with the FT: Esther Duflo". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Esther Duflo – The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab". Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  23. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae (Michael Kremer)" (PDF). University of Chicago. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  24. ^ Aggarwal-Schifellite, Manisha (14 October 2019). "Nobel in economic sciences awarded: Michael Kremer wins Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel". The Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Nobel-winning economist Michael Kremer to join UChicago faculty as University Professor | UChicago News". 24 August 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2022.