Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics on Monday “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
This makes Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo the sixth married couple to win the Nobel Prize. The first would be Pierre Curie and Marie Curie who won the award in 1903 for their discovery of radium and polonium. The last time a couple won the award together would be in 2014, when May Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser won the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology.
Banerjee, who has been married to Duflo for the past four years, is currently employed as the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT. Born in Kolkata, Banerjee is an alumnus of South Point School and Presidency College. Duflo is a French-American economist and has co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab with Banerjee.
Interestingly, Duflo was Banerjee's doctoral student when the two met. While Esther was pursuing her PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999, Banerjee was her joint supervisor. Abhijit Banerjee was first married to Dr Arundhati Tuli Banerjee, a professor at MIT. Both belonged to Kolkata and had a son together. They eventually divorced.
In fact, Duflo and Banerjee go way back; in 1994. Her first encounter with Banerjee took place soon after, when she attended his class on development economics, a subject that was barely taught in France. In 1997, Banerjee accompanied Duflo on her first trip to India and was her guide during the tour. The two lived together for eighteen months and even had a child in 2012. In 2015, the couple formally got married.
Together, Banerjee and Duflo undertook the Herculean task to transform development economics and the way it is perceived in the world. And what could be better than sharing the Nobel with your partner? This, without a doubt, is the #couplegoals in the truest sense of the term.