Of the many distinctive attributes possessed by the three most recent Nobel laureates in economics—Abhijit BanerjeeEsther Duflo, and Michael Kremer—one of the most noteworthy is their relative youth.  Most Nobel economics laureates receive the award on the back end of their careers—the 2007 winner, Leonid Hurwicz was 90 and the 2012 winner, Lloyd S. Shapley 89—and are often recognized for contributions made many decades ago. Duflo, however, is only 47 years old, which makes her the youngest economics prize laureate ever. (Banerjee, who I interviewed for my previous article, is 58 and Kremer is 55.) This means that all three recipients, and Duflo in particular, are not only currently active in their research and policy outreach, but also likely to have twenty or thirty more years to leverage the prize and impact the future.

So now the world—especially those of us who work in the social sector—look to this Nobel triumvirate to get a sense of how they envision that future, and how they will leverage the prize to shape it. Indeed, they were awarded the prize in part for anticipating and shaping the future by applying randomized evaluations to poverty alleviation in developing countries beginning two decades ago, a time when no one else was doing this.

Banerjee and Duflo are the co-founders, and Kremer a long-time affiliate, of MIT-based Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a social sector organization which aims to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL offices worldwide have implemented much of their field research and been part of many efforts to scale the programs that were effective, reaching hundreds of millions of people.

Read the full article in its original location here.