Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee went back to sleep after getting the news from Stockholm early Monday morning that he and his wife Esther Duflo and Harvard’s Michael Kremer have been awarded the coveted prize “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
“Yes. It was very early in the morning. I’m not an early morning person. I figured it would be assault to the system if I don’t continue my sleep, Banerjee said in an interview with NobelPrize.org. The trio won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics, which was announced Monday around 6 am New York time.
He said that he couldn’t get much sleep later as news of the honour spread from India to Europe and he started getting calls. When asked about the rare honour for Banerjee and Duflo to be awarded the Nobel as a married couple, he termed it “special”.
Only five other married couples have won the Nobel together in the prize’s history. “It’s sort of been an entire family enterprise in the sense between JPAL and the research and working at MIT. There’s lots of dimensions of the work that just becomes much more pleasant when you do it with your partner.
Banerjee was educated at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D in 1988. He is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2003, he 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.