The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

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, the prize committee said.

The prize amount is 9 million Swedish krona, to be shared equally between the Laureates. The Prize committee further states that as a direct result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefitted from effective programmes of remedial tutoring in schools.

Banerjee was also in the news recently for his sharp critique of the state of the Indian economy. In a speech delivered at Brown University, the 58-year-old said that institutions in India were turning into “zombies” and blamed the Centre’s demonetisation move and the implementation of GST for creating a “demand problem”.

“We went from the situation where we are with no institutions to having potentially better institutions which have their own challenges, to a situation where the institutions are now an extra level of bureaucratic check on the system. Institutions went from hyperactive to zombies, and zombies are the worst because now you are completely frozen in a sense… they are not doing anything particularly,” he said, reports NDTV.

“In addition, there is a demand problem. And this is a combination of demonetisation, which had a huge effect on demand and had a multiplier, GST implementation, and also in the monetary policy regime, that basically tries to pin down inflation pretty low,” he added.

 

(Header image: Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)