In 2019, Esther Duflo became the second Frenchwoman, and the youngest, to obtain the Nobel Prize in economics. A brilliant economist who fights to reduce poverty.

Esther Duflo is the youngest woman to obtain the Nobel Prize in economics. A brilliant economist who fights to reduce poverty.
Esther Duflo

Experimental methods

Esther Duflo owes her fame to her work on poverty. From the Lycée Henri IV where she studied in the early 1990s until she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in the fall of 2019, her career in writing on the summits is praised. However, the curriculum vitae of this economist is inspiring in many ways. Starting with her ability to put her talents at the service of her convictions. Pioneer of a revolutionary experimental method in the service of the fight against poverty.

“Randomized experiments”

With her husband, Abhijit Banerjee, as well as another fellow economist, Mickaël Kremer., she designed an experimental method that revolutionized the way of understanding the evaluation of policies to fight against poverty. Rather than thinking in an abstract way about reducing poverty in developing countries, Esther Duflo evaluates the effectiveness of the programs carried out there concretely and locally. To do this, it uses a method based on “randomized” experiments: on the model of clinical trials used in medicine, it compares localities or regions which have benefited from a specific action (for example the construction of a school) to those who have not benefited from it. By comparing the test groups with the control groups, we can identify what works and what fails. This approach will lead the trio to jointly win the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Esther Duflo book, available on

The winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics upend the most common assumptions about how economics works in this gripping and disruptive portrait of how poor people actually live.

A method adopted by the World Bank

Esther Duflo becomes the second woman to obtain this award and the youngest economist . Their empirical approach is now adopted by development aid agencies and the World Bank. A stunning track record Esther Duflo is not at her first prize. She collects academic recognition and titles. His career is even punctuated by it. She was also one of 8 advisers to Barack Obama in 2013 on global development issues. She became a professor of development economics at MIT in 2004, at only 32 years old… Today at the dawn of her fiftieth birthday, the Frenchwoman, naturalized American in 2012, still teaches at MIT and co-directs the J-PAL poverty action laboratory that she created with economists Sendhil Mullainathan and Abhijit Banerjee . Their area of ​​research focuses on development economics, in particular health, education, access to credit, and the fight against corruption.

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