Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research network specializing in randomized evaluations of social programs, which won the BBVA Foundation "Frontier of Knowledge" award in the development cooperation category. Duflo is an NBER Research Associate, serves on the board of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and is Director of the Center of Economic Policy Research's development economics program. Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health and policy evaluation.
Duflo completed her undergraduate studies at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1994, received a master's degree from DELTA in Paris in 1995, and completed a PhD in Economics at MIT in 1999. Upon completing her MIT PhD she was appointed assistant professor of economics at MIT, and has been at MIT ever since, aside from being on leave to Princeton University in 2001-2002.
Duflo has received numerous academic honors and prizes including the John Bates Clark Medal (2010), a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the American Economic Association's Elaine Bennett Prize for Research (2003), the "Best French Young Economist Prize" (Le Monde/Cercle des economistes, 2005), the Médaille de Bronze (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2005), and the Prix Luc Durand-Reville (Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, 2008). In 2008-2009 she was the inaugural holder of the international chair "Knowledge Against Poverty" at the College de France.
After being a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics and the Review of Economics and Statistics, she currently serves as the founding editor of the AEJ: Applied Economics.