Guardian Inter Press Service piece (re-published by the Guardian) on Esther Duflo titled “fighting poverty with economics”:
Doing her PhD at MIT, she was one of the first doctoral students to apply economics to development, linking the two, at a time when there were few university faculties devoted to the subject.
“It was not considered a fancy area of study,” she says. “There was a generation of people who had started looking at development from other fields. They had their own theories and only a few were economists. What I contributed to doing was to start going into detail. But I did have some advisers and mentors.”
To be fair, I’ve got a feeling the article was mainly copied off the back of a J-Pal brochure, as it completely underplays Duflo’s main contributions to the field.
Update: Duflo comments on the article, pointing out that yes, the field is a little older than that and she had been trying to point out that she came in at a time that micro development empiricism hit a springboard (which is what I felt the article had completely missed).