Yrjö Jahnsson Award

2019 Award Recipients: Oriana Bandiera and Imran Rasul

Yrjö Jahnsson Award winners Oriana Bandiera and Imran Rasul

Motivation: Oriana Bandiera and Imran Rasul are applied microeconomists. Their work on the role of social relationships in economics, advanced through pioneering field experiments in the workplace and social networks, has provided salient contributions to economics, especially to the fields of personnel economics and development.

The classic principal-agent model treats agents in isolation, or, alternatively, as individuals engaging in perpetual competition. Work in sociology and social psychology suggests instead that people will consider the effect of their actions on others when responding to incentives. The issue is whether classic models should be amended to account for such social pressures.

In a series of field experiments, Bandiera and Rasul, joint with Barankay, aimed at estimating the causal effect of social relationships on incentives. They achieved this goal by introducing clever exogenous variation in the incentive structure offered to the workers picking “soft fruit” in the UK. They used this setting to explore a number of issues that until then had been studied only theoretically or in laboratory settings, such as social preferences, social incentives, the role of connections, the effect of inequality, the role of incentives for managers, and team incentives.

Bandiera and Rasul have also provided other novel empirical evidence on the role of social networks for technology adoption in a farming context, on the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs, and on the functioning of labor markets in low-income settings.

An important contribution of their work is that their experiments have become a role model for randomized control trials for incentive treatments and they have deeply influenced the applied microeconomics field. Their transformative work has inspired a generation of applied economists.

Award Committee: Orazio Attanasio, Armin Falk, Eliana La Ferrara, Kjetil Storesletten (Chair) and Hannu Vartiainen.

Past Award Winners

2017

Ran Spiegler, of School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, and Department of Economics, University College London, for his important contributions to economic theory and bounded rationality. His investigation of new behavioral models has important implications for our understanding of industrial organization and consumer behaviour.

and

Michèle Tertilt, University of Mannheim, for her important contributions to family economics and household finance. Her work has uncovered the salient implications of gender roles for macroeconomics, development, and fertility. Her research has also contributed to our understanding of the development of consumer credit markets and default rates

Award Committee: Mark Armstrong (Co-Chair), Armin Falk, Hélène Rey (Co-Chair), Kjetil Storesletten and Hannu Vartiainen.

2015

Botond Kőszegi for his contribution to the theoretical foundations of behavioral economics, and its application to public finance and contract theory. His influential research on reference- dependent preferences extends the concept of loss aversion by determining the reference point endogenously. The approach has been applied with success to a wide range of economic issues including auctions, firms' pricing behavior, labor supply and savings decisions, and risk preferences.

Award Committee: Fabrizio Zilibotti (Chair), Mark Armstrong, Timothy Besley, Hélène Rey and Juuso Välimäki.

2013

Thomas PIiketty for his original contributions to public economics, specifically the study of inequality and mobility. His work which looks at long-run changes in inequality using data from tax records has uncovered important facts and provoked new debates which are influencing academic and policy discussions.

and

Hélène Rey for her original contributions to international finance, especially the determination of exchange rates and international capital flows. She has worked on and made significant progress in studying many of the big questions in international finance that have been pre-occupying economists and policy-makers.

Award Committee: Timothy Besley (Chair), Mathias Dewatripont, Rachel Griffith, Fabrizio Zilibotti and Juuso Välimäki

2011

Armin Falk for his important contributions to the analysis of social preferences, in particular preferences for reciprocal fairness, and their impact on principal-agent relations, collective action and the functioning of labour markets

Award Committee: Ernst Fehr (Chair), Manuel Arellano, Mathias Dewatripont, Rachel Griffiths and Seppo Honkapohia.

2009

John Van Reenen and Fabrizio Zilibotti for their important contributions to the analysis of technological innovation and its link with economic growth and labor market phenomena

Award Committee: Guido Tabellini (Chair), Manuel Arellano, Ernst Fehr, Seppo Honkapohia, Guy Laroque.

2007

Gilles Saint-Paul for his innovative research on labour markets and political economy. Award Committee: Guido Tabellini (Chair), Seppo Honkapohja, Marco Pagano, Elhanan Helpman, Guy Laroque

2005

Timothy Besley and Jordi Galí for their landmark contributions in development economics, public economics, and political economy, and for the development of the "New Keynesian" macroeconomics.

Award Committee: Richard Blundell (Chair), Elhanan Helpman, Salvador Barbera, Marco Pagano and Rune Stenbacka

2003

Mathias Dewatripont for his path-breaking contributions to both pure and applied contract theory, and organization economics.

Award Committee: Kevin Roberts (Chair), Richard Blundell, Birgit Grodal, Pierre Pestieau and Rune Stenbacka

2001

Philippe Aghion and Guido Tabellini for their contributions in political economics and macroeconomics as well as in corporate finance and industrial organisation.

Award Committee: Pierre Pestieau (Chair), Torsten Persson, Kevin Roberts, Rune Stenbacka and Jean Tirole.

1999

Nobuhiro Kiyotaki and John Moore for their path-breaking work on contracting and exchange.

Award Committee: Martin Hellwig, Erkki Koskela, Torsten Persson, Richard Portes, Jean Tirole

1997

Torsten Persson for his contributions to the study of economic policy. He has been able to study the connection between political institutions and economic performance with respect to growth, distribution and the size of government.

Award Committee: Martin Hellwig, Erkki Koskela, Stephen Nickell, Richard Portes, Agnar Sandmo

1995

Richard Blundell for his pathbreaking contributions to consumption behaviour and microeconometrics.

1993

Jean-Jacques Laffont and Jean Tirole for their innovative work in the application of economic theory to the analysis of incentives, especially in industrial economics.

Award Committee: Jacques Drèze, Michael Bruno, Erkki Koskela