The Journal of Population Economics awards the ‘Kuznets Prize’ for the best paper published in the Journal of Population Economics. Since 2014 the Prize has been 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 2024
Yinjunjie Jacquelyn Zhang and Robert Breunig of the Australian National University receive the 2024 Kuznets Prize for their OPEN ACCESS article Female breadwinning and domestic abuse: evidence from Australia, which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2023), 36, pp. 2925–2965. The annual prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics in the previous year.
The prize will be awarded in a public online event during the 2023 GLO – JOPE Global Conference on December 4, 2023 on 10:00 pm – 12.00 pm CET Berlin = December 4, 2023 on 16:00 pm – 18.00 pm EST Philadelphia = December 5, 2023 on 8:00 am – 10:00 am AEDT Sydney. For the program and to register for the event see LINK.
Yinjunjie Zhang (Jacquelyn) is a research fellow affiliated at Arndt-Corden Department of Economics and Tax and Transfer Policy Institute in Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University. Dr Zhang obtained her PhD at Texas A&M University in 2018. She has her research interest spanning the areas of labor economics, public economics, and experimental economics. A common thread is in understanding the impact of public policy on people’s behavior, choice, and welfare. She has published research articles in peer-reviewed economic journals and worked on a range of research projects aimed at providing insights on social policies and labor market outcomes.
Robert Breunig is the director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He is one of Australia’s leading Public Policy Economists. He has published in over 50 international academic journals in economics and public policy. Professor Breunig has made significant policy impact through a number of his research projects: the relationship between child care and women’s labor supply; the effect of immigration to Australia on the labor market prospects of Australians; the effect of switching to cash from food stamps in the U.S. food stamp program and the inter-generational transmission of disadvantage. Professor Breunig’s research is motivated by important social policy issues and debates. His work is characterized by careful empirical study and appropriate use of statistical technique.
Abstract of the Winning Paper
We explore the relationship between heterosexual partners’ relative income and the incidence of both domestic violence and emotional abuse. Using Australian data drawn from society-wide surveys, we find women who earn more than their male partners are subject to a 33% increase in partner violence and a 20% increase in emotional abuse compared to mean levels. We show the relationship between relative spouse income and female partner abuse is best modelled by a binary variable that captures “female breadwinning.” This finding differs from those of some earlier studies that considered only serious abuse and found a continuous negative relationship between female partners’ relative income and abuse. Instead, our findings suggest a mechanism related to gender norms generating domestic violence. We find no link between relative income and abuse of male partners.
Kuznets Prize 2023
Garima Rastogi (University of Oxford) and Anisha Sharma (Ashoka University) have received the 2023 Kuznets Prize for their article “Unwanted daughters: the unintended consequences of a ban on sex-selective abortions on the educational attainment of women”, which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2022), 35, pp. 1473-1516.
Garima Rastogi is a student in the MPhil in Economics program at the University of Oxford. She has completed her undergraduate education with honours from Ashoka University, India. Her research is primarily in applied microeconomics. She uses empirical methods to explore questions at the intersection of gender, education, and health, in the context of developing countries. She is currently working on her dissertation, which explores the role of a coercive sterilization policy in India on current family-planning practices.
Anisha Sharma is a development economist at Ashoka University, India. Her research interests are in labour economics, the economics of health and education, and public policy, with a particular interest in gender gaps across these dimensions. One strand of her research focuses how people make decisions about human capital investments and how gendered social norms influence their choices. Another strand of her research relates to the constraints on firms from hiring women, as well as the socioeconomic factors that constrain women’s labour supply. Dr. Sharma received a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Abstract of the Winning Paper
“We study whether legal restrictions on prenatal discrimination against females leads to a shift by parents towards postnatal discrimination, focusing on the impact on educational attainment. We exploit the differentially timed introduction of a ban on sex-selective abortions across states in India. We find that a legal restriction on abortions led to an increase in the number of females born, as well as a widening in the gender gap in educational attainment. Females born in states affected by the ban are 2.3, 3.5, and 3.2 percentage points less likely to complete grade 10, complete grade 12, and enter university, respectively, relative to males. These effects are concentrated among non-wealthy households that lacked the resources to evade the ban. Investigating mechanisms, we find that the relative reduction in investments in female education was not driven by family size but because surviving females became relatively unwanted, whereas surviving males became relatively more valued, leading to an increasing concentration of household resources on them. Discrimination is amplified among higher-order births and among females with relatively few sisters. Finally, these negative effects exist despite the existence of a marriage market channel through which parents increase investments in their daughters’ education to increase the probability that they make a high-quality match. This suggests that policymakers need to address the unintended welfare consequences of interventions aimed at promoting gender equity.”
Kuznets Prize 2022
Luca Bonacini (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Giovanni Gallo (Sapienza University of Rome), and Sergio Scicchitano (National Institute for Public Policies Analysis) have received the 2022 Kuznets Prize for their article “Working from home and income inequality: Risks of a ‘new normal’ with COVID-19”, which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2021), 34(1), pp. 303-360.
Abstract of the winning paper:
“In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home (WFH) became of great importance for a large share of employees since it represents the only option to both continue working and minimise the risk of virus exposure. Uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic and future contagion waves even led companies to view WFH as a ‘new normal’ way of working. Based on influence function regression methods, this paper explores the potential consequences in the labour income distribution related to a long-lasting increase in WFH feasibility among Italian employees. Results show that a positive shift in WFH feasibility would be associated with an increase in average labour income, but this potential benefit would not be equally distributed among employees. Specifically, an increase in the opportunity to WFH would favour male, older, high-educated, and high-paid employees. However, this ‘forced innovation’ would benefit more employees living in provinces have been more affected by the novel coronavirus. WFH thus risks exacerbating pre-existing inequalities in the labour market, especially if it will not be adequately regulated. As a consequence, this study suggests that policies aimed at alleviating inequality, like income support measures (in the short run) and human capital interventions (in the long run), should play a more important compensating role in the future.”
About the authors:
Luca Bonacini is postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. After a period of training internship at Bank of Italy, he received his PhD in Labour, Development and Innovation at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 2021. He was visiting scholar at the Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research and the University of Luxembourg. His main research interests focus on income distribution, social mobility, inequality in education, and gender inequality.
Giovanni Gallo is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Sapienza University of Rome since December 2020 and was previously at the National Institute for Public Policies Analysis (INAPP). He received his PhD at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 2018. He was visiting scholar at the Tilburg University and the Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research (LISER), where he worked on financed research projects. His research interests include evaluation of social policies, poverty, inequality, redistribution, household finance, and pensions. On these issues he published in many international journals (e.g., Journal of Population Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Labour Economics).
Sergio Scicchitano is Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Public Policies Analysis (INAPP), Rome, Italy. He obtained the National Scientific Qualification for the role of Associate Professor in Economic Policy. He is Co-Lead of the GLO “Coronavirus” thematic cluster and Section Editor for “Covid-19” in the current Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, 2020. He was Visiting Lecturer at the Queen Mary University of London and Adjunct Professor at the University “La Sapienza” of Rome, where he hold a Ph. D. in Economics. His fields of interest include applied econometrics, labour economics, covid-19, and technological change. On these issues he published in many international journals (e.g., Journal of Population Economics, Economic Modelling, Work Employment and Society).
Kuznets Prize 2021
Yun Qiu (Jinan University), Xi Chen (Yale University), and Wei Shi (Jinan University) have received the 2021 Kuznets Prize for their article “Impacts of social and economic factors on the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China”, which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2020), 33(4), pp. 1127–1172. The annual prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics in the previous year.
Abstract of the winning paper:
“This study models local and cross-city transmissions of the novel coronavirus in China between January 19 and February 29, 2020. We examine the role of various socioeconomic mediating factors, including public health measures that encourage social distancing in local communities. Weather characteristics 2 weeks prior are used as instrumental variables for causal inference. Stringent quarantines, city lockdowns, and local public health measures imposed in late January significantly decreased the virus transmission rate. The virus spread was contained by the middle of February. Population outflow from the outbreak source region posed a higher risk to the destination regions than other factors, including geographic proximity and similarity in economic conditions. We quantify the effects of different public health measures in reducing the number of infections through counterfactual analyses. Over 1.4 million infections and 56,000 deaths may have been avoided as a result of the national and provincial public health measures imposed in late January in China.”
Yun Qiu is an assistant professor at Institute for Economic and Social Research at Jinan University (Guangzhou, China). She obtained a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from the Ohio State University. She is a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO). Yun uses applied econometric techniques to conduct research in areas focused on (1) understanding the health and productivity impacts of extreme weather and air pollution in China; (2) characterizing the influencing factors of the spread of COVID-19 and its socioeconomic impacts; (3) valuing coastal adaptation strategies and urban amenities.
Xi Chen is an associate professor of Health Policy and Economics at Yale University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Cornell University. His research endeavors focus on improving public policies on population aging, life course health, and global health systems. Dr. Chen is a consultant at the United Nations Institutions, Fellow at the Global Labor Organization (GLO), former President of the China Health Policy and Management Society, and Butler-Williams Scholar at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Dr. Chen’s work has been published in prestigious economics, science and medical journals, recognized through numerous awards, and widely covered in media.
Wei Shi is an associate professor at the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Jinan University (Guangzhou, China). His research interests include topics in econometrics, real estate economics, and applied microeconomics. His current research focuses on panel data models with spatial interactions and multidimensional heterogeneities, peer effects models, and applications of spatial econometric models. He is a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO) and obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the Ohio State University.
Kuznets Prize 2020
Gautam Hazarika (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), Chandan Kumar Jha (Le Moyne College, Madden School of Business), and Sudipta Sarangi (Virginia Tech) received the 2020 Kuznets Prize for their article “Ancestral ecological endowments and missing women“ which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2019), 32(4), pp. 1101-1123. The annual prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics.
This paper examines the relationship between ecological endowments in antiquity and contemporary female to male sex ratios in the population. It is found that there are proportionately more missing women in countries whose ancestral ecological endowments were poorer. This relationship is shown to be strong even after ancestral plough use, the timing of the Neolithic Transition, and many other potentially confounding factors are controlled for. Similar results are also obtained using district-level data from India.
Gautam Hazarika is presently Associate Professor of Economics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Chandan Kumar Jha is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College.
Sudipta Sarangi is currently Department Head and Professor of Economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is a research associate of DIW Berlin, GATE, University of Lyon-St. Etienne and the Lima School of Economics.
Kuznets Prize 2019
Yoo-Mi Chin (Baylor University) and Nicholas Wilson (Reed College) received the 2019 Kuznets Prize for their article “Disease risk and fertility: evidence from the HIV/AIDS pandemic” which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2018), 31(2), pp. 429-451. The annual prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics.
The article addresses a fundamental question: does fertility respond to disease risk? Ambiguous predicted answers to this question arise from standard economic theories of household fertility decision-making, yet fertility responses have large implications for human welfare. The article uses national household survey data from 14 sub-Saharan African countries to examine the fertility response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Instrumental variable (IV) estimates using distance to the origin of the pandemic suggest that HIV/AIDS increases the total fertility rate (TFR) and the number of surviving children. These results rekindle the debate about the fertility response to disease risk, particularly the HIV/AIDS pandemic—and pose a further question of whether the HIV/AIDS pandemic has reduced GDP per capita.
Yoo-Mi Chin is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Baylor University and a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).
Nicholas Wilson is an Associate Professor of Economics at Reed College, a Fellow with the Office of Evaluation Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).
Kuznets Prize 2018
Chunbei Wang and Le Wang of the University of Oklahoma received the 2018 Kuznets Prize for their article “Knot yet: Minimum marriage age law, marriage delay, and earnings,” which was published in the Journal of Population Economics (2017), 30(3), pp. 771-804. The annual prize honors the best article published in the Journal of Population Economics.
The article explores the causal relationship between marriage delay and wages and the mechanisms that drive such relationship. Building on an identification strategy proposed in Dahl (Demography 47:689–718, 2010), the authors establish the causal wage effects of marriage delay before proposing distinctions among competing theories and hypotheses and the channels through which marriage delay affects wages. The article reaches two conclusions when observing variation across gender and subpopulations. First, a positive causal impact of marriage delay on wages is found, which has a larger effect for women. Comparison of IV and OLS estimates suggests that the observed relationship between marriage delay and wages is attributed to both selection in late marriages and true causal effects. The second conclusion is that positive, causal effects are almost exclusively through increased education for both men and women.
Chunbei Wang is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Oklahoma and a fellow at the Global Labor Organization (GLO).
Le Wang is Chong K. Liew Chair and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Oklahoma, as well as a Fellow at Global Labor Organization and IZA.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.