A former Manhattan High School student was part of a team that received the Nobel Prize in economics Monday.
Michael Kremer, who attended Manhattan schools and is now a faculty member at Harvard University, was awarded the prize along with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They earned the award for their research on alleviating poverty.
Kremer had previously taught at MIT. Duflo is only the second woman to win the prize for economics.
When Kremer was a high school student, he left MHS early to attend Harvard and missed his senior year. He had been in the class of 1982.
Both of his parents taught at K-State. His mother, Sara Lillian Kremer, was a university distinguished professor of English and scholar of Holocaust literature. Before that, she was a teacher at Manhattan High. His father, Eugene Kremer, was head of the KSU architecture department.
Kremer became the founding scientific director of Development Innovation Ventures at the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2010. He received his doctorate in economics from Harvard in 1992.
He was named a MacArthur fellow, better known as the “MacArthur Genius Grant,” in 1997.
The team has been researching poverty for about 20 years.
Some of their most notable work included studying education in developing countries, including Kenya and India. They developed an approach that breaks down the larger issue of poverty into smaller contributing ones.
For trials, they gave items such as free mosquito nets or textbooks to show how those items changed the lives of recipients versus those who didn’t receive those things.
The team has studied how to improve education in Kenya and India and conducted studies on micro financing, price sensitivity to health-care costs and lifting vaccination rates.
“The research conducted by this year’s laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty,” The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Monday. “In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.”