On Friday, 8 November, Esther Duflo – who was recently awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences – will be presented with an honorary doctorate by Erasmus University Rotterdam. Duflo was nominated by Erasmus School of Economics in recognition of her achievements in the field of poverty alleviation worldwide.
Esther Duflo is Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Her research maps out the economic circumstances of the world’s poor in order to formulate and evaluate effective social policies. On Monday, 14 October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that it would award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer.
Global poverty alleviation
The committee applauds the laureates’ new approach to combating poverty by breaking down large, complex problems into smaller, more manageable questions. They do this “via carefully designed experiments among the people who are most affected”. Duflo’s work can be applied very well in practice and has resulted, among other things, in more effective education in India and improved preventative healthcare in a large number of countries.
In the spirit of Jan Tinbergen
On Friday, 8 November 2019, Duflo will be presented with an honorary doctorate during the 106th dies natalis of Erasmus University Rotterdam. The 2019 dies natalis will be paying tribute to Jan Tinbergen, since it is exactly 50 years ago that Tinbergen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. During the ceremony, a number of prominent national and international guests, including the newly-honoured Nobel Prize laureate Esther Duflo and the Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra, will reflect on Tinbergen’s academic accomplishments and progressive body of thought. After all, his famous motto ‘Distribution generates profit’ is as relevant to Erasmus University today as it was half a century ago. Just as Tinbergen did in his day, Erasmus University sees it as its responsibility to take on the complex societal challenges faced across the globe.
Esther Duflo’s achievements in mitigating poverty around the world through the economic sciences are evident. We are deeply honoured that she will be accepting an honorary doctorate from Erasmus University Rotterdam during this special Tinbergen Year. Professor Olivier Marie, who serves as honorary promotor together with Professor Dinand Webbink, will present the honorary degree on behalf of Erasmus School of Economics.