When the Noble Prize winner Michael Kremer received a message on Monday, he thought the unexpected Skype message was a scam. Whereas, for the economist couple Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who share the prize with Kremer, the call was an early morning unwanted alarm.
The three individuals were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday for their “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Kremer says, he has witnessed economics change over the years to a discipline in which researchers engage more with people on the ground. Kremer also said that the researchers are constantly learning about ways that are effective and the ones that are not. According to him, governments have become better at addressing problems.
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, the Noble prize in economics winners, say that they are like every other couple with kids, trying to balance work and their role as parents. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have two children, aged 5 and 7.
Duflo answered an early Monday morning phone call with the right amount of exasperation almost every adult experiences. On answering the call, she was told it was an important call from Sweden. She says her response was, “Well, since you’ve now woken me up, go ahead.” The couple also went back to bed, right after the call.
The award-winning couple said on Monday at an MIT news conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that they’re among about 400 experts worldwide who are focused on understanding what causes poverty. Their win will hopefully open more doors to research on poverty.
The prize, officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, wasn’t created by the prize founder, but it is considered to be part of the Nobel stable of awards. The prize comes along with a 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.