Esther Duflo appointed as new president of the Paris School of Economics following the passing of Daniel Cohen in August

Esther Duflo, here giving a speech before receiving the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019, is the new president of the Paris School of Economics. CHRISTINE OLSSON / AFP

ECONOMY – A Nobel Prize winner as a boss. The Paris School of Economics (PSE) announced on Thursday, January 12th that Esther Duflo is the new president of the board of directors. She succeeds Daniel Cohen, who passed away in August.

The 51-year-old Franco-American economist won the Nobel Prize in 2019, along with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, for their work on fighting poverty in the world. She holds the Chair in Poverty and Public Policy at the Collège de France and is a professor of poverty alleviation and development economics in the economics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Esther Duflo, who holds a degree in history and economics from the Ecole Normale Supérieure/PSL (Paris Sciences et Lettres) and PSE, and a PhD in economics from MIT, is also the co-founder and co-director of J-PAL, a laboratory for action against poverty, whose European branch is already hosted at PSE.

In the statement, the school outlines the new president’s roadmap: “to consolidate PSE’s position as the leading economics department in Europe and the 6th in the world”. The 2019 Nobel laureate expressed her “emotion” about taking over the presidency of this “unique institution that has transformed the face of economic science in Paris”. She praised the “cohesive whole” of “remarkable power” formed from the six founding institutions of PSE.

In the statement, PSE pays tribute to the memory of Daniel Cohen, president from July 2021 to August 2023, “who profoundly marked the institution after founding it in 2006 with Thomas Piketty”, another French economist specializing in inequalities.

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