Dec 18, 2019
Want to support future conversations?
Esther Duflo’s advice to students?
Spend time in the field. “It's
only through this exposure that you can learn how wrong most of
your intuitions are and
preconceptions are,” she explains. For Duflo, it was time spent in the Soviet Union on the
brink of collapse. While there she saw how Jeff Sachs used the
tools of economics to advise policymakers on matters of crucial
importance. To her it seemed like the best job in the
began to pursue it
in earnest. Now it is she who is advising governments on how
best to reduce poverty, having co-founded one of the leading policy
research centers in the world. That work, together with that of
frequent collaborators Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, has
now been honored with the Nobel Prize.
She joined Tyler to discuss
that work, including how coaching increases the effectiveness of
cash transfers, why she cautions against falling in love with
growth rates, what France gets right about child-rearing, the
management philosophy behind her success building J-PAL, how she
briefly became the face of an anti-Soviet revolution, the
under-looked reasons behind the decline of geographic mobility in
the United States, what rock climbing can teach us about being a
good empirical economist, her daily musical move from Bach to Bob
Dylan, and more.
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