Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Duflo is an NBER Research Associate, serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and is Director of the Center of Economic Policy Research's development economics program. Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health and policy evaluation.
Duflo completed her undergraduate studies at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1994, received a master's degree from DELTA in Paris in 1995, and completed a PhD in Economics at MIT in 1999. Upon completing her MIT PhD she was appointed assistant professor of economics at MIT, and has been at MIT ever since, aside from being on leave to Princeton University in 2001-2002.
Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the David N. Kershaw Award (2011), the CNRS Médaille de L’Innovation (2011), John Bates Clark Medal (2010), a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the inaugural Calvó-Armengol International Prize (2009), the "Best French Young Economist Prize" (Le Monde/Cercle des économistes, 2005) and the American Economic Association's Elaine Bennett Prize for Research (2003). In 2008-2009 she was the inaugural holder of the international chair "Knowledge Against Poverty" at the Collège de France.
With Abhijit Banerjee, she is the co-author of “Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty,” which won Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011. Duflo currently serves as the founding editor of the AEJ: Applied Economics.
Duflo was appointed this year's Tanner lecturer–a recognition for uncommon achievement and outstanding abilities in the field of human values–at Harvard University. View a draft of the May 2012 lecture topic here.