Esther Duflo in “Le Monde”, from student to Nobel Prize


Economist Esther Duflo gives a speech at an event celebrating her Nobel Prize, in Stockholm, Sweden, December 10, 2019.

IInvited for the first time by the Collège de France in 2008 to deliver a series of conferences, Esther Duflo becomes, this year, holder of the chair “ Poverty and public policies “. This November 24, she will hold her inaugural lesson there, “Experience, science and the fight against poverty (almost) fifteen after”, the first of a series which will span the whole of 2023.

The name of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics appears for the first time in The world in very unusual circumstances. The one who is still a student, pupil of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and, briefly, research assistant at the European Expertise Service, in Moscow, signs, on September 6, 1994, a survey in “one” of the supplement ” Economy » titled “When the mafia ousts the state”, on the disorders of the transition in Russia, while this former communist regime reconverted to a market economy. “In Russia, the mafia has constituted itself as an economic power, going beyond the framework of traditional activities, and replacing the State, which it also competes with”, writes the girl, then 21 years old. The fight against corruption will remain one of the Franco-American economist’s areas of research.

When Esther Duflo appears for the second time in the evening newspaper, it is already to appear on an honor roll. In the edition of World of July 3, 1996, she is cited among the laureates of the aggregation of social sciences. The list is alphabetical, the ranking is specified in parentheses: the candidate is received at the 10e square.

Closer to inequality

It was not until ten years later, on May 20, 2003, that his name returned to the columns of the newspaper, to signal the award by the jury of the “ world economy and the Circle of Economists, the best young economist award to Pierre-Cyrille Hautcœur, while honouring, as nominees, Philippe Askenazy and Esther Duflo. Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she defended her doctoral thesis on issues related to development, Esther Duflo is, according to journalist Serge Marti, representative “of the growing multidisciplinarity required by the learning and teaching of economics”.

“The need to think about the questions raised by globalization, inequalities, has prompted a series of young theorists to look into questions of development. Often in a very empirical way, close to the field. Esther Duflo in 2003

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