U.S.-based economist Ester Duflo made history on Monday... when she became the second female winner of the Nobel Economics Prize and the youngest at 46 years old.
She won it with her husband and fellow MIT colleague Abijit Banerjee as well as Harvard University researcher Michael Kremer for their work on fighting poverty.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PRIZE IN ECONOMICS WINNER, ESTHER DUFLO, SAYING: "There are not very [many] Nobel prizes that has gone to people who mainly work on social problems. And so, being a woman, working on social issues, I hope that I can also be kind of a role model for others to think, 'you know, look, actually it's pretty interesting this field and it's much more varied than you think'." The trio's work focuses on how poverty can be tackled by breaking it down into smaller and more precise questions.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Prize, said their work ranged from helping millions of school children to helping governments increase funding for preventative medicine.
Jakob Svensson is a member of the committee for the prize in economic sciences.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE PRIZE IN ECONOMIC SCIENCES, JAKOB SVENSSON, SAYING: "What they have done is to essentially construct, to come up with a new approach, and the simplest way to put it is that they have taken broad questions, such as why are kids not learning in school, and they break that down into many more detailed questions and then they try to answer those detailed questions." The winners said they hoped their work would inspire more people to take rigorous, scientific approaches to the fight against poverty.