Published: 14th October 2019
JNU, Presidency College alumni Abhijit 'Jhima' Banerjee wins Nobel in Economics for his work to alleviate poverty
His wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were joint winners of the 2019 Nobel for Economics for their experiment-based approach that has transformed development economics
JNU and Presidency College alumni Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, fondly called Jhima by his friends and family, won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday jointly with his wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty."
Abhijit was born in Kolkata, to Nirmala Banerjee, a professor of economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and Dipak Banerjee, a Professor and the head of the Department of Economics at Presidency College, Calcutta.
Now an American citizen, Abhijit attended South Point School and Presidency College where he completed his BSc degree in Economics in 1981. Later, he completed his MA in Economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1983 and went on to obtain a PhD in Economics at Harvard in 1988. The subject of his doctoral thesis was "Essays in Information Economics."
"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," said the Nobel committee in a statement.
Abhijit, 58, is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to his profile on the MIT website. In 2003, Banerjee founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan, and he remains one of the lab's directors. He also served on the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.