The Nobel Prize in Economics: Local action to end poverty

Adolescence and Youth

The Nobel Prize in Economics

On October 14, economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee of MIT, along with Michael
Kremer of Harvard gained recognition for their pioneering work in poverty reduction as
recipients of the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

The work of these Nobel laureates has been monumental in the field of development economics. It did not simply craft
a theoretical lens through which to study development. Rather, it used real-world, practical,
randomized trial controls to determine the effectiveness of poverty reduction interventions.

Equity for Children’s strategy to mobilize change is based on a very similar approach, obtaining
and disaggregating data on multidimensional child poverty to ensure that policy and advocacy
are based on scientific evidence.

Duflo and partners developed their quantitative approach in order to provide impact data that
would evaluate program and project success and alleviate the health, educational and income
challenges of poverty. With this effective methodological framework, policymakers can access
accurate information about whether a project or policy actually responds to the fundamental
systemic issues of poverty. Such data is key to revelations about how to maximize return on
resources invested by scaling up those with the greatest impact or adjusting ineffective
initiatives.

Equity for Children undertook analysis of intra-urban inequalities in several Colombian cities in
its initiative monitoring social exclusion for children at the local level. The project consisted of
comparing early childhood quality of life in different neighborhoods, with the goal of obtaining
data that better supports policies guaranteeing child rights.

The Nobel Laureates’ work is commendable for focusing on obtaining local data that enables
practitioners, project designers, and policymakers to learn best practices in the fight to end
poverty.

Equity for Children thanks this year’s Nobel Laureates for dedicating their lives to conducting
work with dramatic, real-world impacts. They are fostering the betterment of society by
enabling the policy arena, creatively and locally, to generate concrete improvements to solve
the crisis of global poverty.

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