In the Science category, the 2021 Best Paper Award goes to Győző Gyöngyösi. The Kiel Institute researcher's paper, „Household Debt Revaluation and the Real Economy: Evidence from a Foreign Currency Debt Crisis”, prepared with co-author Emil Verner, was published in September 2020 in the American Economic Review, one of the internationally renowned "Top 5 Journals" for economic research. The authors used the 2008 currency crisis in Hungary as an example to show how high household debt in foreign currencies can exacerbate a recession. "The paper has a scientifically excellent level, and conclusions can also be drawn on how to politically deal with high foreign currency debt of private households in a crisis," said Gabriel Felbermayr, President of the Kiel Institute.
In the category of third-party funded projects, the Best Project Award 2021 goes to the team that has been hosting the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2019. The award will be presented to the core team consisting of Lena Bednarz, Tanja Hagelberg, Gernot Klepper, Christine Merk and Franziska Weeger. They are organising the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change as an accompanying process to the BMBF funding priority Economics of Climate Change II. "Climate economics is a highly relevant topic, and the project offers what we as a Leibniz Institute specifically strive for: an interface between scientific research and politics or civil society actors. It strengthens relevant networks of the Kiel Institute in this topic area and develops innovative formats for events - online and offline," said Felbermayr. The project is also considered an exemplary internal teamwork of research centers and service units of the Institute and has made a significant contribution to third-party funding.
For media relations, the Media Award 2021 goes to Vincent Stamer and Sebastian Horn. Based on his research with international shipping data, Vincent Stamer has driven several initiatives that have attracted particular media attention: the development of the Kiel Trade Indikators as a new leading indicator for the development of imports and exports in 72 countries, the provision of facts and assessments on the blockade of the Suez-Kanals in March 2021, with which the Institute and he himself in particular were able to inform the public, and the supervision of a study on the economic significance of the Kiel Canal, which attracted a great deal of attention, particularly in the northern German media.
Under the direction of Christoph Trebesch, Sebastian Horn was involved in the study „How China lends“ – a project with international partners that for the first time systematically examined China's load agreements with foreign creditors. He acted as a spokesperson for the project at the Kiel Institute, and succeeded in vividly communicating the topic to both national and international media, thus becoming a sought-after interlocutor. His involvement culminated in an invitation from the US Congress to testify as an expert before the House Financial Services Committee on China's lending practices.
"Both researchers have demonstrated in an exemplary manner that it is possible, even in the early stages of an academic career, to combine research work and its transfer to the public via the media. They have thus given the Institute great media visibility on topics that are of particular strategic relevance for us," said Felbermayr.
The prizes of up to 10,000 euros per category are provided by the Society for the Advancement of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and awarded annually. They are intended to make outstanding achievements at the Kiel Institute visible both internally and externally and to reward the particularly successful commitment of the award winners. Scientists and employees from the Institute's service units who have contributed in a special way to the success of initiatives can be awarded the prizes.