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The three 2019 Economics Nobel Laureates — all from Cambridge higher education institutions — are using their prize money to invest in the next generation of economists.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael Kremer of Harvard University are each donating their Nobel prize money to the Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics, which is administered by Harvard University.

Their donation, which totals approximately $916,000, will supplement $50 million from Child Relief International, a foundation established by Andrew and Bonnie Weiss.

The donations will fund research grants that support the work of development economists and students through 2035.

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Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer were recognized by the Nobel Committee for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty, and the proven ability of these approaches for improving the lives of poor people.

“These efforts focus on bringing innovative ideas and on-the-ground applications to life to make the world a better place,” said Andrew Weiss. “We are delighted to be supporting this work, and to be associated with the Laureates.”

Since 2012 The Weiss Fund has supported research in development economics by graduate students and faculty at Boston University, Harvard, MIT, and several other select universities in the United States.

“We truly believe that this Nobel award is an award for the development economics community,” said Banerjee, “We are so pleased to apply our funds in this way and open up opportunity for development economists all around the world.”

“This has been such a humbling time,” said Duflo, “As a child, I read about Marie Curie who used the proceeds of her first Nobel prize to buy a gram of radium to further her research. Our field is a collaborative one, so supporting the next generation of economists is our ‘gram of radium’.”


Abbi Matheson can be reached at abbi.matheson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AbbiMatheson

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