Infosys Prize winners make it bigger

Last Updated 14 October 2019, 21:06 IST

As Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee has been awarded Nobel Prize in economics for 2019, it seemed like a deja-vu for many Indians.

Two decades earlier, yet another Bengali Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize for a similar study.

While Sen basically threw light on the core problem of poverty, Banerjee has been focusing on the solutions to global poverty.

The connections don’t end just here: Banerjee was the first recipient of the Infosys Prize for Social Science. And guess what? It was Sen, who was chairing the jury of the Infosys awards back then.

On the other hand, Banerjee's wife Esther Duflo, a developmental economist who draws her inspiration from Sen, was also awarded the Infosys Prize in 2014.

The dual Nobel Prize just adds on to validation of the Infosys Prize— a coveted award by the Bengaluru-based IT major Infosys.

Yet another recipient of the award has been Reserve Bank’s most high-profile governor Raghuram Rajan.

Currently, the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Banerjee studied at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University.

He wrote his doctoral thesis on ‘Essays in Information Economics’ and received his doctorate in 1988.

He is the author of four books including Poor Economics (with Duflo) that has won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year.

He has also co-directed two documentary films: ‘The Magnificent Journey: Times and Tales of Democracy (co-directed with Ranu Ghosh) in 2019 and ‘The Name of the Disease’ in 2006.

Banerjee founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan in 2003.

(Published 14 October 2019, 15:35 IST)

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