Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research network specializing in randomized evaluations of social programs, which won the BBVA Foundation "Frontier of Knowledge" award in the development cooperation category. Duflo is an NBER Research Associate, serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and is Director of the Center of Economic Policy Research's development economics program. Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health and policy evaluation.
In 2019, Duflo was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics along with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer. They won the prestigious award for their "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." At 46 years old, Duflo was the youngest person to ever win the prize. She was also only the second woman to win the prize in that category.
Duflo completed her undergraduate studies at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1994, received a master's degree from DELTA in Paris in 1995, and completed a PhD in Economics at MIT in 1999. Upon completing her MIT PhD she was appointed assistant professor of economics at MIT and has been at MIT ever since, aside from being on leave to Princeton University in 2001-2002.
Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including The Dan David Award (Laureate in Future Dimension, 2013), the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award (with Abhijit Banerjee) for “Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty” (2011), the David N. Kershaw Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (2011), the CNRS Médaille de L’Innovation (2011), the John Bates Clark Medal for the best economist under 40 (2010), a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the inaugural Calvó-Armengol International Prize (2009), the "Best French Young Economist Prize" (Le Monde/Cercle des économistes, 2005) and the American Economic Association's Elaine Bennett Prize for Research (2003). In 2008-2009 she was the inaugural holder of the international chair "Knowledge Against Poverty" at the Collège de France.
Duflo is an NBER Research Associate, serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), is Director of the Center of Economic Policy Research's development economics program and is a member of the President’s Global Development Council. She serves as the founding editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
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