Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo Winning the Nobel Prize Together is Couple


Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo will be jointly receiving the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, along with Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Before Banerjee and Duflo, there were many couples who were honoured with the prestigious Nobel Prize. This makes Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo the sixth married couple to win the Nobel Prize. The first would be 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 would be in 2014, when May Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser won the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology.

Interestingly, Duflo was Banerjee’s doctoral student when the two met. While Esther was pursuing her PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999, Banerjee was her joint supervisor. Abhijit Banerjee was first married to Dr Arundhati Tuli Banerjee, a professor at MIT. Both belonged to Kolkata and had a son together. They eventually divorced.

In fact, Duflo and Banerjee go way back; in 1994. Her first encounter with Banerjee took place soon after, when she attended his class on development economics, a subject that was barely taught in 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 even had a child in 2012. In 2015, the couple formally got married.