“This is probably the first 21st-century prize in economics,” Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist, told the New York Times. “We’ve given lots of prizes for the advances of the 20th century.”

“Their methods, and this is not stuff worked on 20, 30 years ago—this is stuff that, none of it started until the 2000s,” he added. “This really is 21st-century economics, and it’s wonderful that we’re moving into the 21st century with the Nobel prize, in my view.”

In a profile published by the New Yorker in 2010, Duflo said that as a graduate student, “I wrote in all the introductions of my papers, ‘The ideal experiment to measure the effect of this would be…'”

“I just got fed up of writing about what the ideal experiment would be,” she said. “Why don’t we just do it?”

Duflo is only the second woman to be awarded the novel prize in economics. The late Elinor Ostrom won the prize in 2009 for her research into how people in small communities share natural resources with one another.

Economist Paul Krugman called the Academy’s recognition of Dufko, Banerjee, and Kremer “heartening.”

The economists’ work “has great potential to further improve the lives of the worst-off people around the world,” wrote the Academy.

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