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Esther Duflo Recognized by HEC Paris for her Exceptional Work in the field of Poverty Economics

10 September 2015

At a ceremony held on campus at HEC Paris, attended by Peter Todd, Dean of the school, and Pierre Dussauge, Dean of the Faculty of Research, Esther Duflo received an honorary degree. 

A professor of Development Economics and Poverty Alleviation at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where she is the Co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), she delivered a conference in front of students and professors of HEC Paris on the theme: “Science against Poverty”. 

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Dean Todd, in his introductory speech, paid homage to the exceptional contribution she has made through her work and research: “We are immensely proud to welcome Professor Duflo, whose work resonates strongly in a field of research and teaching that is particularly important to HEC Paris: that of the economics of poverty and of development”.


During the conference, Professor Duflo addressed the students with a scientific and pragmatic approach to poverty economics. “Poverty is not only a question of economic depravity, but also of health and control over one's own life. Economic innovation is possible and we mustn't be led to believe that everything has already been invented. Economics is a human science which can be both fruitful and engaging.” 

Having graduated from ENS (Ecole normale supérieure), she earned her PhD from MIT and has taught there since 2004. Her research interests focus on the problems of microeconomics in developing countries in areas such as household behavioral trends, education, access to finance, health, and the public evaluation of politicians.

She has received numerous academic distinctions and prizes in France and internationally including the John Bates Clark Medal in 2010. She co-authored Repenser la pauvreté (“Rethink Poverty”) which was named Business Book of the Year (2011) by the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs and is currently one of the editors-in-chief of the Applied Economics Journal. In recognition of her exceptional contribution to the way we think about human values, she has served as a Tanner Lecturer at Harvard University.


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