Nobel economics prize winner Esther Duflo hopes to inspire other women
14 October 2019, 14:48 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:26
One of the winners of this year's Nobel Prize for economics says she hopes her achievement will inspire other women to take up the subject.
Esther Duflo is only the second woman to win the prize - the first was Elinor Ostrom in 2009 - since it began in 1969. The 46-year-old is also the youngest person to win the prestigious award.
Ms Duflo won the prize along with her husband Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer for their "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".
Ms Duflow, who is French-American, said: "Showing that it is possible for a woman to succeed and be recognised for success I hope is going to inspire many, many other women to continue working and many other men to give them the respect that they deserve like every single human being."
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three economists had created new ways to fight poverty by focusing on smaller, more manageable issues such as education and health.
Mr Kremer, from Harvard University, had shown the effectiveness of this approach in the mid-1990s when he did fieldwork in Kenya, the academy said.
Mr Banerjee and Ms Duflo, who are at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked in India where they set up the Poverty Action Lab, which reorganised public school systems by learning level instead of age or grade.
The academy said their work had resulted in five million children receiving remedial tutoring in schools.
"This is huge for us," said Shobhini Mukerji, the executive director of the South Asia branch of the Poverty Action Lab, in New Delhi. "India is where the seeds were sown for their research."
Mr Banerjee's mother, Nirmala Banerjee, also an economist, told news channel NDTV in India that the prize was unexpected.
She said: "He has been trying to get economics away from the theoretical part, but using theory to understand the world as it is."
"The way it works, the way poverty is, the way people handle poverty."
Mr Banerjee this year advised India's opposition party, the Congress, before national elections in May about offering financial aid to the poor.
He has also criticised the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about alleged political interference in statistical data and over a programme to take cash out of the economy.
(c) Sky News 2019: Nobel economics prize winner Esther Duflo hopes to inspire other women