16 May, 2021

‘People Will Say What They’ve To Say’

Photograph by Getty Images
‘People Will Say What They’ve To Say’

Esther Duflo, the youngest Nobel laur­eate in economics, shares the prize with husband Abhijit Banerjee, and MIT colleague Michael Kremer. She spoke to Consulting Editor Hardev Sanotra on Skype from her home in Massachusetts, dwelling on a range of issues from poverty to migration. Excerpts…

Your first choice in life was history, how did you choose economics?

I liked history, but it left me frustrated because it didn’t allow me to do things that would have an impact on the real world. So I took a year off in Russia, where I got a chance to work with economists and I realised they had the best of both worlds. They can work in academics…work on issues that have a direct impact on the world. I thought that’s for me.

You and Abhijit Banerjee have written Good Economics for Hard Times. Do you think the world, including India, is going through hard times?

India, on balance, has had such good times over the past 20 years that it is act­ually...

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