The Nobel prize in economics has been awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the prize on Monday.
The prize, officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was not created by the prize founder, but it is considered to be part of the Nobel stable of awards.
The prize was created by Riksbanken, the Swedish central bank, in 1968, and the first winner was selected a year later.
Mr Banerjee and Ms Duflo are both at Massachusetts Institute of Technology while Mr Kremer is at Harvard University.
Ms Duflo is the second woman to win the economics prize.
Ms Duflo, who was woken up by Goran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday, said that getting the prize “incredibly humbling”.
Ms Duflo is only the second woman to win the economics prize, after Elinor Ostrom got it in 2009, and is also the youngest ever to receive the economics award.
She said: “Showing that it is possible for a woman to succeed and be recognised for success I hope is going to inspire many, many other women to continue working and many other men to give them the respect that they deserve like every single human being.”
With the glory comes a nine million-kronor (£731,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.
Last week, six Nobel prizes were given — medicine, physics and chemistry plus two literature awards, and the coveted Peace Prize.
All but the winner of the Peace Prize receive their awards on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896, in Stockholm.
The winner of the Peace Prize receives the award in Oslo, Norway.