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Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo are 6th married couple to win Nobel

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It is indeed a great news for the whole of Bengal as Abhijit Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo along with Michael Kremer were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo became the sixth married couple to win the Nobel Prize. The first was 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 was in 2014, when May Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser won the Nobel Prize in medicine. 

Abhijit, 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 her husband. 

Interestingly, Duflo was Abhijit’s doctoral student when the two met. While Esther was pursuing her PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999, he was her joint supervisor. Banerjee was first married to Dr Arundhati Tuli Banerjee, a professor at MIT, but they are divorced. They have a son together. Duflo’s first encounter with Banerjee was when she attended his class on development economics, a subject that was barely taught in her country 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 also spent time in their house in Ballygunge. They had a child in 2012 and formally married in 2015. 

Together, Abhijit and Duflo undertook the Herculean task to transform development economics and the way it is perceived in the world.