15/10/2019 The Hindu Editorials Notes- Mains Sure Shot 

GS-3 Mains

Question – Discuss the various aspects of the Nobel prize in economics in 2019.( 200 words)

Context – the nobel prize in economics 2019.


Economics Nobel prize for alleviating poverty:

  • Prize is for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.
  • Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michael Kremer of Harvard University.
  • the experiment has transformed development economics and turned it into  a “flourishing field of research”.
  • The three adopted an evidence-based approach to apply theory to real-life situations using randomised trials and assessing the outcomes.
  • The effort was to understand the impact of interventions to achieve desirable outcomes. The approach is derived from the concept of clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • One of their studies resulted in benefiting 5 million children in India through programmes of remedial tutoring in schools.

Some examples of their experiment:

  1. Despite immunisation being free, women were not bringing in their children for the vaccination shot. The two MIT economists decided to give a bag of pulses free to women who brought their babies for vaccination. Word soon spread and the rate of immunisation shot up in the region.
  1. Another experiment they did was in Mumbai and Vadodara to understand learning outcomes in the field of education.

Was it lack of access to textbooks or hunger that caused poor learning outcomes?

  • Through field studies, Mr. Banerjee and Ms. Duflo established that the problem is that teaching is not adapted to the needs of the students. 

How it helps the government ?

  • Governments across the world, including in India, spend big money on social schemes without the vaguest of ideas on whether their objectives have been met.
  • The field-work based approach that these economists have perfected has revolutionised the field of development economics and made it more relevant in policy making.
  • The research helps the government to understand the impact of its several schemes.

Nobel prize

  • The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.
  • Given in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace – the Nobel Prizes. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences.

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