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2018 Bernhard Harms Prize Goes to Carmen Reinhart

Portrait of Carmen Reinhart, Professor of the International Financial System, Harvard Kennedy School

For decades, Carmen Reinhart has shaped the research agenda as well as public debate on the topics of sovereign debt, international capital and commodity markets, and debt crises. She has contributed significantly to the empirical shift in economics. As early as the 1980s, when macroe-conomic research was still almost exclusively theoretical and math-oriented, Reinhart focused on evidence-based research relevant to economic policy.
Her studies involve compiling comprehensive historical data sets and using them to identify recur-ring patterns. In doing so, Reinhart has repeatedly provided important insights into indicators of impending currency, bank, and sovereign debt crises, together with their consequences and how to overcome them. Her 2009 book, “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly,” written together with Kenneth Rogoff, is one of the best-selling and most influential books on economics and helped make her insights into financial crises understandable and accessible around the world.

Prof. Sonja Peterson, Scientific Director at the Kiel Institute, comments on the jury’s selection: “Carmen Reinhart was always ahead of her time and is probably the most influential woman cur-rently working in economic research. She was one of the first people to highlight the risks that foreign debt and higher US interest rates pose to emerging markets—a topic that has renewed relevance today. Similarly, she warned early on of a severe recession in the wake of the US financial crisis. During the course of her career, Reinhart has repeatedly succeeded in defining concepts that have entered the standard economic canon, such as ‘fear of floating,’ ‘twin crises,’ ‘debt intolerance,’ and ‘serial default.’ This is another reason why she is among the most cited economists in the world and by far the most cited female researcher in the field.”

The 2018 Bernhard Harms Prize will be awarded to Professor Carmen Reinhart on October 24, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. in the reading room of the Central Library of Economics (ZBW), Düsternbrooker Weg 120, 24105 Kiel.

The research lecture to be given by Carmen Reinhart on this occasion will be live-streamed at approximately 5:15 p.m. on our Facebook channel:

The award ceremony is open to invited guests; a limited number of seats is also available for media representatives. Please register for this event as soon as possible at

Carmen Reinhart will be at the Kiel Institute from October 22–25, 2018, giving several lectures as part of the IfW Advanced Studies Program.

The Kiel Institute introduced the biennial Bernhard Harms Prize in 1964. The award carries prize money of EUR 25,000 and honors academics and practitioners for exceptional contributions to global economic research and the promotion of global economic relations, respectively. Recent winners of the Bernhard Harms Prize include the economists Marc Melitz (2016), Abhijit Banerjee (2014), Gene Grossman (2012), Raghuram Rajan (2010), and Kenneth Rogoff (2008). [To the Bernhard Harms Prize website]

The award is named for Bernhard Harms, who founded the Kiel Institute in 1914.