Tech UPTechnologyThe 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics is for the...

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics is for the fight against global poverty

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer with the Alfred Nobel Prize in Economics in memory of the Sveriges Riksbank for their “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty” .

Currently, in the world there are more than 700 million people who subsist in conditions of extreme poverty and about 5 million children under 5 years of age die annually. The team made up of Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer has introduced a new approach to the problem by proposing answers to what are the best ways to combat global poverty . The first step has been to break down this macro problem into smaller, more manageable issues, such as the most effective ways to intervene to improve children’s health . The winners began developing their experimental work since the 1990s and thanks to these we have dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice. One of the most relevant consequences of the winners’ work has been in India where, as a result of their studies, more than 5 million children from the Asian subcontinent have benefited from remedial tutoring programs in schools.

Curiosities of the “Nobel” in Economics

Technically, this award is not really a Nobel Prize. It was established at the initiative of the Sveriges Riksbank, the Swedish Central Bank, in 1968 under the name of ‘Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel’ and since then has been awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences following the same principles as with the Nobel Prizes , which is why it is usually considered one more of these. The first winners were Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen for “having developed and applied dynamic models to the analysis of economic processes”. Since then, Elinor Ostrom has been the only woman to have won the Prize in Economics . He did so in 2009 for his human cooperation work that demonstrated how natural resources can be shared sustainably by a community without the need for central authorities or privatization.

Unlike other categories, the Economic Sciences Prize can only be chosen by direct invitation of the selection committee. This, according to the nobelprize.org website, must be made up of members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or the committee of the Alfred Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences of the Sveriges Riksbank, people who have already won this prize, university professors who develop their activity in related subjects in one of the main universities in northern Europe and professors of international projection or scientists recognized by the Academy.

As in other Nobel categories, the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics from the Sveriges Riksbank consists of a gold medal, a diploma and SEK 9 million to be distributed among the winners (maximum 3 per edition). Above all, the professional who is awarded the award is recognized as one of the most distinguished and important researchers and academics of the year .

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