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Banerjee, Duflo, Kremer, and the Rise of Modern Development Economics

Benjamin Olken

Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2020, vol. 122, issue 3, 853-878

Abstract: In 2019, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. These three scholars were recognized “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. This paper reviews the contributions of these three scholars in the field of development economics, to put this contribution in perspective. I highlight how the experimental approach helped to break down the challenges of understanding economic development into a number of component pieces, and I contrast this to understanding development using macroeconomic aggregates. I discuss pioneering contributions in understanding the challenges of education, service delivery, and credit markets in developing countries, as well as how the experimental approach has spread to virtually all aspects of development economics.

Date: 2020
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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:122:y:2020:i:3:p:853-878