Two Scouts win Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Submitted by NGooderson on Tue, 10/15/2019 - 07:53
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On Monday, October 14, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer the Nobel Prize for Economics for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

The French National Scout Association, Les Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs Unionistes de France (EEUdF), was among the first to congratulate Esther Duflo, former Scout and leader in the local group of Bois-Colombes, for her long-standing work to help the poorest, which has now been recognised by this high-profile award. And the Bharat Scouts and Guides (India) have also since proudly confirmed that Abhijit Banerjee was also an active member of the 24th Asoka Scout Group, South Calcutta, as a Cub Scout and Scout!

This recognition has been emulated by Scouts worldwide who identify in Esther and Abjijit the shared Scout values of duty to others and incredible leadership in their field of work.

EEUdF also shared the statement Esther Duflo gave, regarding Scouting, as part of their Association’s centennial celebrations in 2011:

"I am indebted to the Movement, to a great extent, for the unshakable confidence in the idea that the world can be more just, more fraternal and more fit to live in for all, even the poorest, and also for the belief that it’s up to us—to me as it is to each one of us—to do my best, within my abilities, so this better world can ensue."

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences released a statement noting how this year's Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty.

“In brief, it involves dividing this issue into smaller, more manageable, questions – for example, the most effective interventions for improving educational outcomes or child health. They have shown that these smaller, more precise, questions are often best answered via carefully designed experiments among the people who are most affected.

In the mid-1990s, Michael Kremer and his colleagues demonstrated how powerful this approach can be, using field experiments to test a range of interventions that could improve school results in western Kenya. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, often with Michael Kremer, soon performed similar studies of other issues and in other countries. Their experimental research methods now entirely dominate development economics,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in their statement.

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And Esther Duflo has underlined that the prize is a tribute to collective effort:

“I think the three of us stand for hundreds of researchers who are part of a network that work on global poverty that we created together 15 years ago," she said, also nodding to the thousands of partners in government and NGOs around the world. "It really reflects the fact that it has become a movement, a movement that is much larger than us."

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Photo © Kris Krüg for PopTech