Four young economists based in the United States and Europe received this year’s Excellence Awards in Global Economic Affairs from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Created to promote young talent, the Excellence Awards are open to researchers and academics up to 35 years of age.
The winners for 2018 are:
- Mathieu Couttenier (Geneva University) for his contributions to the field of development economics. One of his studies addresses the impact of mining on conflicts in Africa. He finds a sizeable impact of mining activity on the probability/intensity of conflict at the local level. This is both true for low-level violence (riots, protests), as well as for organized violence (battles).
- Felix Tintelnot (Chicago University) for his research on international trade. In his research he has in particular analyzed the role of domestic and international production networks in international trade and the role of multinational firms as a catalyst for technology diffusion.
- Ferdinand Rauch (Oxford University) for his research on trade, urbanization, and structural transformation. In one of his contributions he analyzed the effect of increasing Chinese exports on the Mexican economy. He finds that while competition from China forced smaller and less productive Mexican plants to close down, it also increased productivity and output at larger plants, thereby contributing to higher real incomes and economic welfare.
- Matteo Maggiori (Harvard University) for his contributions in the field of international finance. In a recent contribution he emphasizes the role of currencies for international capital allocation. He finds that investors have a strong bias toward assets that are denominated in the currency of their country, with the exception of US-dollar assets. The global willingness to hold the US dollar means that even smaller US firms that borrow exclusively in dollars have little difficulty borrowing from abroad, while smaller firms in other countries that issue assets in domestic currency do not have a similar access to borrowing abroad as assets in their currency are less attractive to foreign investors. In the paper it is also shown that global portfolios shifted sharply away from the euro and toward the dollar starting with the 2008 financial crisis, further cementing the dollar’s international role and potentially amplifying the benefit that its status brings to the US.
Each of the four winners will be awarded a Research Fellowship at the Kiel Institute funded through separate scholarship programs (Horst Siebert Fellowship, Porsche Fellowship, Theodor Wille and Heinrich Diederichsen 'Fair Trade' Fellowship and Landeshauptstadt Kiel Fellowship). The aim of the Kiel Institute’s Excellence Awards in Global Economic Affairs is to build an international community of young economic researchers. The Excellence Awards have been presented annually since 2007.
The award ceremony took place on Saturday, June 16, 2018 in the context of the events for the Global Economy Prize.