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Kuznets Prize

The Journal of Population Economics awards the ‘Kuznets Prize’ for the best paper published in the Journal of Population Economics. Starting from 2014 the Prize will be awarded annually.

Papers are judged by the Editors of the Journal of Population Economics.

Simon Kuznets, a pioneer in populations economics, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and the 1971 Nobel Prize laureate in economics, died on July 10, 1985. Professor Kuznets was born 1901 in Pinsk, Belarus and came to the United States in 1922. He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1923, a Master of Arts degree in 1924 and his doctorate in 1926, all from Columbia University. During World War II he was Associate Director of the Bureau of Planning and Statistics on the War Production Board, and he served on the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1927 to 1960. Mr. Kuznets was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania for 24 years and Professor of Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University from 1954 until he joined Harvard University in 1960. He retired in 1971 and was given the title of George F. Baker Professor Emeritus of Economics. He was a former president of the American Economic Association and the American Statistical Association.


Kuznets Prize 2017

Binnur Balkan and Semih Tumen from the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey received the 2017 Kuznets Prize for their article “Immigration and prices: quasi-experimental evidence from Syrian refugees in Turkey,” Journal of Population Economics (2016), 29(3), pp. 657-686.

The prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics in 2016.

The article exploits the regional variation in the unexpected (or forced) inflow of Syrian refugees as a natural experiment to estimate the impact of immigration on consumer prices in Turkey. Using a difference-in-differences strategy and a comprehensive data set on the regional prices of CPI items, the authors find that general level of consumer prices has declined by approximately 2.5 % due to immigration. Prices of goods and services have declined in similar magnitudes. The authors highlight that the channel through which the price declines take place is the informal labor market. Syrian refugees supply inexpensive informal labor and, thus, substitute the informal native workers especially in informal-labor intensive sectors. The authors document that prices in these sectors have fallen by around 4 %, while the prices in the formal labor-intensive sectors have almost remained unchanged. Increase in the supply of informal immigrant workers generates labor cost advantages and keeps prices lower in the informal labor-intensive sectors.

Binnur Balkan is a first year PhD student at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE).

Semih Tumen is an Economist and Director General at the Structural Economic Research Department at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.

Read “2017 Kuznets Prize Awarded to Binnur Balkan and Semih Tumen” in the Journal of Population Economics (2017), 30 (1), pp. 7–9.


Kuznets Prize 2016

Loren Brandt (University of Toronto), Aloysius Siow (University of Toronto), and Hui Wang (Peking University) received the 2016 for their paper “Compensating for unequal parental investments in schooling,” Journal of Population Economics (2015), 28(2), pp. 423-462. The prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics in 2015.

The winning paper investigates how rural families in China use marital and post-marital transfers to compensate their sons for unequal schooling expenditures. Using a common behavioral framework, the authors derive two methods for estimating the relationship between parental transfers and schooling investments: the log-linear and multiplicative household fixed-effects regression models. Using data from a unique household-level survey, the authors strongly reject the log-linear specification. Results from the multiplicative model suggest that when a son receives 1 yuan less in schooling investment than his brother, he obtains 0.47 yuan more in transfers as partial compensation. Since their measure of transfers represents a substantial fraction of total parental transfers, sons with more schooling likely enjoy higher lifetime consumption. Redistribution within the household may be limited by either the parents’ desire for consumption equality or bargaining constraints imposed by their children. Controlling for unobserved household heterogeneity and a fuller accounting of lifetime transfers are quantitatively important.

The Kuznets Prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics.  The Prize Committee includes the Journal‘s Editor-in-Chief, Klaus F. Zimmermann, and the Journal’s Editors, Alessandro Cigno, Erdal Tekin, and Junsen Zhang. The Prize was awarded by the Editor-in-Chief on January 4th, 2016 during the 2016 American Economic Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.


Kuznets Prize 2015

Dr. Haoming Liu (National University of Singapore) is the winner of the 2015 Kuznets Prize for his paper “The quality–quantity trade-off: evidence from the relaxation of China’s one-child policy”, Journal of Population Economics (2014), 27 (2), pp. 565-602. The paper was nominated as the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics in 2014.

The paper uses the exogenous variation in fertility introduced by China’s family planning policies to identify the impact of child quantity on child quality. The study finds that the number of children has a significant negative effect on child height, which provides support for the quality–quantity trade-off theory. The instrumental quantile regression approach shows that the impact varies considerably across the height distribution, particularly for boys. However, the trade-off is much weaker if quality is measured by educational attainments, suggesting that the measurement of child quality is also crucial in testing the quality–quantity trade-off theory.

The Kuznets Prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics. Starting in 2014, the Prize will be awarded annually. The Prize Committee includes the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Klaus F. Zimmermann, and the Journal’s editors, Alessandro Cigno, Erdal Tekin, and Junzen Zhang. The Prize was awarded by the Editor-in-Chief on January 4, 2015 during the 2015 American Economic Association Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.


Kuznets Prize 2014

The Kuznets Prize 2014 was awarded to Paolo Masella for his article “National Identity and Ethnic Diversity”, Journal of Population Economics (2013), 26(2), p. 437-454. The paper investigates the main determinants of national sentiment and the relationship between ethnic diversity and the intensity of national feelings.

The selection committee was most impressed by the originality of the research approach, the methodological rigor and the thorough analysis of the data.


Previous Kuznets Prizes

Period 2010-2012

Richard W. Evans, Yingyao Hu and Zhong Zhao received the Kuznets Prize for their article “The fertility effect of catastrophe: US hurricane births”, Journal of Population Economics (2010), 23 (1): 1-36.


Period 2007-2009

Makoto Hirazawa, Nagoya University, and Akira Yakita  Nagoya University, received the Kuznets Prize for their article “Fertility, child care outside the home, and pay-as-you-go social security”, Journal of Population Economics 22: 565-583.


Period 2004-2006

Jinyoung Kim, Korea University, received the Kuznets Prize for his article “Sex selection and fertility in a dynamic model of conception and abortion,” Journal of Population Economics 18(1): 41-67.


Period 2001-2003

Olympia Bover, Bank of Spain, and Manuel Arellano, CEMFI, received the Kuznets Prize for their article “Learning about migration decisions from migrants: Using complementary datasets to model intra-regional migrations in Spain”, Journal of Population Economics 15(2): 357-380.


Period 1998-2000

David C. Ribar, The George Washington University, received the Kuznets Prize for his article “The socioeconomic consequences of young women’s childbearing: Reconciling disparate evidence”, Journal of Population Economics 12(4): 547-565.


Period 1995-1997

James R. Walker, University of Wisconsin-Madison, received the Kuznets Prize for his article “The effect of public policies on recent Swedish fertility behavior”, Journal of Population Economics, 8(3): 223-251.