Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo

Formal First Name
1972 - present

Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. She is a Co-Founder and Director of the Poverty Action Lab, Research Associate at the National Bureau for Economic Research, and on the board of directors of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). She is also the co-director of the CEPR Development Economics programme and editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. Duflo specializes in development economics and the design and evaluation of effective anti-poverty policy. She has spent her career researching the economic lives of the world’s poorest people, and finding ways to alleviate poverty that are grounded in behavioral science. She has worked on health, financial inclusion, education, environment, and governance. Duflo is the second woman and youngest ever recipient to be awarded the Nobel for Economics.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • Duflo has conducted experiments in Africa and Indian nations to determine how several factors such as education and healthcare could be improved to combat poverty.

  • She has studied household behavior, educational choice and returns to education, decentralization, industrial organization in developing countries, and credit constraints.

  • She has written extensively on matters including HIV prevention in Kenya and improving immunization rates in India.

  • She has also tackled bundling health insurance and microfinance and the role of social interactions in retirement plan decisions, and a lot more.


  • 2023 Blue Metropolis Award Lumières sur les Inégalités

  • 2022 Golden Plate Award, Academy of Achievement 

  • 2021 Commander of the Legion of Honor, France

  • 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

  • 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences

  • 2015 A.SK Social Science Award

  • 2014 Infosys Prize

  • 2011 David N. Kershaw Award

  • 2010 John Bates Clark Medal

  • 2009 MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship