Professor Abhijit Banerjee from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was awarded the Bernhard Harms Prize 2014 by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
Abhijit Banerjee is one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of combating poverty. In the process, not only does he excel with innovative scientific approaches; he also assigns high priority in his work to practical application in the field of policy. With his book, “Poor Economics”, Banerjee and Esther Duflo together wrote an economic bestseller on the topic of fighting poverty.
“Rather than entering the debate of whether development aid in general helps to reduce poverty or not, Banerjee and Duflo favour a piecemeal approach, guided by modern analytical evaluation methods”, emphasised IfW President Dennis Snower in his laudatory speech. He said that a key role regarding this approach also was the research laboratory founded by Banerjee at the MIT, which enables him to “to encourage real policy changes based on empirical results which are derived from high-quality research”.
Banerjee was born in India in 1961. He began his academic training at the University of Calcutta and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Next, he earned a doctorate at Harvard University. Since 2003 he has been Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the MIT. In 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Banerjee to the High Level Panel for the preparation of new development objectives for the UN.
About the Bernhard Harms Prize
For 50 years now, the Bernhard Harms Prize named after the founder of the Institute and carrying a purse of 25,000 euros has been awarded by the Institute for the World Economy every two years to a personality for outstanding achievements in the field of global macroeconomic research or for making an outstanding contribution through his or her activities in daily business practice for the promotion of world economic relations.