Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, who won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics jointly with his wife Esther Duflo and another economist Michael Kremer on Monday, is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Banerjee, born in 1961 in Mumbai, bagged the award for his "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty". As expected, Banerjee wasn’t welcomed with open arms given he has often been critical of the current government’s economic policies.
BJP Tamil Nadu spokesperson SG Suryah congratuled Abhijit Banerjee by pointing out that the Nobel Prize for Economics was technically not a Nobel.
He wrote: “There is no #NobelPrize for Economics category! What #AbhijitBanerjee has won is Prize in Economic Sciences instituted in the memory of Alfred Nobel! & Congratulations to him for that! Attaching screenshot from Official Website.
Banerjee has often been critical, slamming demonetization and said 50 days after it: “I never understood the logic behind it. For one, why introduce Rs2,000 notes? And I suspect the pain is much greater than is being currently anticipated.”
He was also among the 108 economists and social scientists, including Jean Dreze, fellow winner Esther Duflo and Jayati Ghosh, who denounced the government for statistical manipulation. He had co-signed a letter to the Indian government for tinkering with the baseline year for calculating GDP.
Unlike his party man, PM Modi did congratulate Banerjee. He wrote: “Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee on being conferred the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He has made notable contributions in the field of poverty alleviation. I also congratulate Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for wining the prestigious Nobel.”
Banerjee, born in 1961 in Mumbai, bagged the award for his "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty". The 58-year-old economist received his PhD in 1988 from Harvard University. He also studied at the University of Calcutta and Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.
In 2003, he founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with his French-American wife Duflo, who is also a MIT professor, and Sendhil Mullainathan.. He remains one of the lab's directors, according to the MIT website.
Banerjee is a past president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development, a Research Associate of the NBER, a CEPR research fellow, International Research Fellow of the Kiel Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow and an Alfred P Sloan Fellow and a winner of the Infosys prize.
He is the author of a large number of articles and four books, including 'Poor Economics', which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011. The 'Poor Economics' has been translated into more than 17 languages.
"Why would a man in Morocco who doesn't have enough to eat buy a television? Why is it so hard for children in poor areas to learn, even when they attend school? Does having lots of children actually make you poorer? Answering questions like these is critical if we want to have a chance to really make a dent against global poverty," Banerjee wrote in the book 'Poor Economics'.
He is the editor of three more books and has directed two documentary films. He also served on the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the website said.