J-PAL co-founders awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics


To-date, J-PAL has touched the lives of over 400 million people, with a staff of over 400 people in seven offices and over 180 affiliated researchers.

On October 14, 2019, the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Esther and Abhijit are two of the cofounders and co-directors of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Michael is one of J-PAL’s original affiliated researchers. Esther is the youngest winner of the Prize, and only the second woman to receive the award.

Community Jameel, the global philanthropy, has been partnering with and supporting J-PAL since 2005. J-PAL aims to tackle the root causes of poverty through evidence-based assessment, including issues related to health, education, youth employment, and financial inclusion.

To-date, J-PAL has touched the lives of over 400 million people, with a staff of over 400 people in seven offices and over 180 affiliated researchers.

Mohammed Jameel KBE, founder of Community Jameel, said: “The Nobel Prize is a fitting recognition of the achievements of all three winners in applying development economics to alleviate poverty worldwide. Their approach has transformed the way governments, philanthropies, corporations and NGOs strive to build a better world. J-PAL seeks to answer a simple question: What works in fighting poverty? We are delighted that Community Jameel, through J-PAL, has been part of Esther and Abhijit’s mission to find the solution.”

At a press conference at MIT, Esther Duflo, the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “Mohammed Jameel, who is the third person whom we really want to acknowledge in the birth of J-PAL, Mohammed Jameel who saw in us, maybe a little bit like Bengt [Bengt Holmström, influential MIT economist who won the prize in 2016], and maybe for the same reason, that he has business acumen that none of us really had. He saw in us, and in our project, something that could make a difference, and decided to risk his reputation and his money, behind that. This would have never have happened without the ecosystem and his vision and commitment for the World’s poor, which was apparent then, and [is] still important today. This is the type of outstanding people you want to have associated with the university.”

Community Jameel seeks to innovate for a better future. As well as J-PAL, Community Jameel works in the fields of livelihoods, the arts, education, health and climate. J-PAL is one of Community Jameel’s portfolio of programmes with MIT, which also comprise the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab, the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab, the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health, the Jameel-Toyota Scholarship, and the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition and MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia.

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