The 2019 Nobel Prize winner in economics Esther Duflo was elected on Thursday January 11 as president of the Paris School of Economics (PSE), the establishment announced in a press release. She succeeds Daniel Cohen, who died in August 2023.

Ms. Duflo was unanimously elected by the board of directors of the school, which aims with her arrival to “establish an international influence”. In the press release, the establishment says it wants to “continue to anchor PSE in the landscape of higher education and research in France and around the world”.

The 51-year-old Franco-American economist won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019 alongside her husband, Abhijit Banerjee, and Michael Kremer for their work on the fight against poverty in the world.

She holds the Poverty and Public Policy Chair at the Collège de France and is a professor of the fight against poverty and development economics in the economics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Consolidate PSE’s place”

Ms. Duflo, a graduate in history and economics from the Ecole normale supérieure-PSL (Paris sciences et lettres), the Paris School of Economics and holder of a doctorate in economics at MIT, is also co-founder and co-director of J-PAL, an action laboratory against poverty, whose European branch is already hosted at PSE.

His five-year mandate “should consolidate PSE’s place at the forefront of economics departments in Europe and sixth in the world,” the school hopes in its press release. Esther Duflo testifies to her “emotion” at taking over the presidency of this “unique institution which has transformed the face of economic science in Paris”. She praised the “coherent whole”, of “remarkable power” formed from the six founding institutions of PSE.

In the press release, PSE salutes the memory of Daniel Cohen, president from July 2021 to August 2023, “who will have had a profound impact on the institution after founding it in 2006 with Thomas Piketty”, another French economist and specialist in inequalities.