21C

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of M.I.T., and Michael Kremer of Harvard

“In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in announcing the Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer.

Twenty First Century (21C) Economics has finally arrived with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of M.I.T., and Michael Kremer of Harvard.

“This is probably the first 21st-century prize in economics,” said Harvard economist Dr. Lawrence Katz, “This is not stuff worked on 20, 30 years ago — this is stuff that, none of it started until the 2000s.”

It is time we listened to the poor in rural and urban slums in developing countries.

We need to listen closely and carefully to the poor, rather than building policies for them in which they themselves do not have a voice. We need to know what their true needs and aspirations are.

We also need to hear their stories so we might better understand their own lives and the lives of their families, communities and ancestors. When we listen to their stories we might then appreciate how enormously rich they are within their strong fabrics of family and community and culture.