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1ST EDITION BBVA FOUNDATION AWARDS

Nobel Prize in Economics for Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, founders and directors of the Poverty Action Lab at MIT, winner in 2008 of the Frontiers Cooperation Award

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics has recognized “the experimental approach to alleviating global poverty” of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, founders and directors of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which won in the Development Cooperation category in the first edition of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards. This laboratory, formed by MIT economists, promotes the use of scientific techniques to assess the effectiveness of development assistance funding. Duflo and Banerjee share the award with Harvard economist Michael Kremer, who is also an affiliate professor at J-PAL. The work of the three laureates, says the Nobel citation, “has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty,” adding that “in just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.” Kremer participated in the workshop on Scientific Analysis of Development Programs and Foreign Aid held in the BBVA Foundation in January 2007, and contributed to the resulting publication El análisis experimental de la ayuda al desarrollo; la evaluación de lo que funciona y lo que no funciona.