Esther Duflo – WOMAN of ACTION™



A Celebration of Women

has been inspired to Celebrate the Life of one our world’s deep thinkers, formally an economist by trade, a philanthropist by heart, with a critical thinking mind that prevails in logic and practical dignity.

We celebrate her now being here to help the Women of our World!




Esther Duflo


Esther Duflo


Esther Duflo (born October 25, 1972) is a French economist, Co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 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 for Economic and Policy Research’s development economics program.

Her research focuses on micro-economic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health, and policy evaluation. Together with Abhijit Banerjee, Dean Karlan, Michael Kremer, John A. List, and Sendhil Mullainathan, she has been a driving force in advancing field experiments as an important methodology to discover causal relationships in economics.

ESTER ENSAfter studying in Lycée Henri IV’s “classes préparatoires BL”, Duflo completed her undergraduate studies at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1994, received a master’s degree from DELTA in Paris (Now, Paris School of Economics) jointly with Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1995, and completed a PhD in Economics at MIT in 1999.

The École Normale Supérieure (French pronunciation: ​[ekɔl nɔʁmal sypeʁjœʁ]; also known as Normale sup’, Normale, and ENS) is a French grande école (higher education establishment outside the mainstream framework of the public universities system).

The ENS was initially conceived during the French Revolution, and it was intended to provide the Republic with a new body of teachers, trained in the critical spirit and secular values of the Enlightenment. It has since developed into an elite institution which has become a platform for many of France’s brightest young people to pursue high-level careers in government and academia.

mit-seal_400x400Upon 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. She was promoted to associate professor (with tenure) in 2002, at the age of 29, making her among the youngest faculty at the Institute to be awarded tenure.

ester bhanduflo115In a poverty-stricken world where many are suffering for having less than enough and barely making it through the day, there are those who step forward and go against the downward flow so they can enable others to rise up from their poor situation.

These certain group of people, called economists, continually work out ways to find solutions to the problems that keep ordinary people like you and me from improving our lives financially.

And among these extraordinary group of people, there is one who stands out for her amazing dedication for improvement and overwhelming compassion for the poor – meet Esther Duflo, a French-American who is currently working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A world-renowned economist and philanthropist, Esther Duflo has spent her entire career fighting against poverty and promoting the welfare of the people living below the poverty line.

EstherDufloatPopTech2009aShe has co-founded and directed several organizations that are designed to reduce poverty levels by providing assistance to the poor and needy, the most notable among them the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.

Esther has also collaborated with many of the world’s leading economists; her work mostly encompasses microeconomics, especially in many developing countries all over the world, which focuses on how the common household puts their limited resources into more practical use.

Esther has been going around the world and conducting research regarding such issues, looking for ways to subvert these conditions for the benefit of those affected.

One amazing thing about Esther’s viewpoint of poverty is that it isn’t in places such as refugee camps or war zones; it is in our very localities, the ordinary people who are trying to make it through the day.

She conducts research on how a person’s lifestyle and behavior significantly affects his/her economic status, and finds ways to correct certain behaviours that cause people to stay poor.

ester duflo-globeWhat makes Esther so extraordinary is that her work began at a young age, even when compared to other world-famous philanthropists who started their career in their thirties; Esther has been doing her philanthropic activities since she was in her early twenties, way back when she was still studying for her Master’s degree.

She also has an outstanding sense for social justice, which she most likely got from her mother, who was also an active participant in an NGO whose cause is to help the poor.

Esther also has an amazing energy for her poverty-alleviating efforts; she is currently a member of at least five anti-poverty organizations and is an editor of at least four publications.

The most inspiring thing, however, that we can get from Esther’s life is how she has proven that your age is not a barrier to prevent you from contributing something significant to the world.

“What is most important is if you are willing and decided to really do your part, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others”.

Esther Duflo: Lack of Hope and the Persistence of Poverty

ester320_jpal-mother-literacy-projectAs an economist, Esther may be seen by a few as someone who does not actively take part in “helping” the poor (meaning, not physically in the place and financially supporting them), but through her research and study she was able to provide something more than what many charitable organizations would fail to give – “teaching a person how to fish“, which would sustain them for years to come rather than giving them a fish which would only let them survive for a day.

She was awarded the Elaine Bennett Research Prize by the American Economic Association in 2002. This prize honors a woman economist under the age of forty who has made outstanding contributions in any field of economic research.

In 2005, Le Monde, Cercle des économistes awarded her the Best Young French Economist prize.

esterCLARK_D_20100423162358She is a recipient of the 2010 John Bates Clark Medal for economists under the age of forty who are judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

She received her (first) honorary doctorate from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium Feb 2, 2010.

macarthur_foundationIn 2009, she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, otherwise known as a “genius” grant. She is also a fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences from 2009.

On May 21, 2009 she was selected as the first recipient of the Calvó-Armengol International Prize, which she finally received on June 4, 2010. This is awarded every two years to a top young researcher in economics or the social sciences for contributions to the theory and comprehension of the mechanisms of social interaction.

The US Magazine Foreign Policy named her as one of the top 100 Public Intellectuals in the World in May 2008.

In 2010, Foreign Policy again named her to its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers.

The Economist lists Duflo as one of the Top 8 Young Economists in the World.

She was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in April 2011.

In 2012, Duflo was picked by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers.

ester AmericanEconomicJournalMicroeconomicsEsther Duflo serves as founding editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and co-editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of Development Economics, and is a member of the editorial committee of the Annual Review of Economics.

Ester is also a member of the Human Capital Research Programme within the International Growth Center.

She is currently a co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, and writes a monthly column for Libération, a French daily.

Duflo was the main speaker at the first Bocconi Lecture of Bocconi University in 2010, followed in 2011 by Caroline Hoxby.


social-mediaFIND ESTER HERE:

MIT, Faculty: Ester Duflo

Profile on TED – Ester Duflo

FacebookEster Duflo

Twitter – Ester Duflo @JPAL_Global

TheXtraordinary – Ester Duflo


A Celebration of Women

is elated to welcome this great mind into our Alumni and look forward to working together to fulfill the betterment of lives for the Women of our World.


Brava Ester!



Speak Your Mind


Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care