Three American economists, including a married couple, have won the Nobel Prize in Economics for their work in helping address global poverty.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Monday it awarded the prize to Indian-born American Abhijit Banerjee, French-American Esther Duflo and American Michael Kremer. Banerjee and Duflo are married and all three winners have worked together.
Duflo is just the second woman to ever win the economics prize.
The academy said the economists introduced a new approach to figuring out the best ways to fight poverty, which involved breaking down difficult issues by focusing on smaller questions and developing practical tests to determine which solutions worked best.
For example, the economists found that in rural Kenya and India, money spent on textbooks and teachers did not help students learn more. However, they found that what did work included making schoolwork more relevant to students and offering remedial tutoring to the neediest students.
"As a direct result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefited from effective programs of remedial tutoring in schools. Another example is the heavy subsidies for preventive health care that have been introduced in many countries," the academy said.
The honorees will equally split the $915,300 award.
Banerjee and Duflo are both professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S., while Kremer is a professor at Harvard University.
Only a few married couples have shared the Nobel prize before, mostly notably Marie and Pierre Curie, who took half of the physics prize in 1903.