Recipients of the George S. Eccles Research Award in Finance and Economics

The George S. Eccles Research Award in Finance and Economics is part of the George S. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing, and is given to faculty members whose research is outstanding in quality and insight and emphasizes the bridging of theory to practice. The selected faculty members each receive a $30,000 award to be used toward their research.

2019 Recipient: Christian Moser

Christian, Assistant Professor within the Economics Division at Columbia Business School, studies topics at the intersection of macroeconomics, labor economics, and public finance. The common theme behind his research is to understand the determinants of earnings inequality and the role of redistributive policies.

Professor Moser’s research focuses on two related issues. The first issue is: why do seemingly identical workers get paid differently in the labor market and what drives trends in earnings inequality over time? To answer these questions, he combines large administrative microdata and econometric tools, which allow for a detailed analysis of individual labor market outcomes. The second issue is: what role can economic policies play in shaping the earnings distribution and how such should policies be optimally designed? Recent examples of studies that Professor Moser has undertaken include the minimum wage, Social Security old-age benefits, and equal-pay policies.


2018

Xavier Giroud, the Roger F. Murray Associate Professor of Finance, studies how corporate finance affects the real economy. Specifically, his work examines how firms’ organizational structure, financial constraints, and their internal resource (re-)allocation affect firm-level employment and investment choices, and how this in turn affects aggregate economic outcomes.

Professor Giroud will use the award to pursue his research on the resource reallocation within firms. In particular, his current projects study i) how the geographical dispersion of firms' operations affects the propagation of local economic shocks, and ii) the implications of firms’ internal resource reallocation for aggregate productivity.


2017

Marina Halac, the David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business, focuses her research on contract theory, game theory, and mechanism design. She has developed theoretical models to study issues such as the structure and dynamics of employment relationships, the problem of how to motivate innovation, and the design of fiscal rules to constrain public debt.

Professor Halac is using the Eccles Prize Award honorarium to pursue further research on delegation. Together with Pierre Yared, Associate Professor of Business, she is studying the optimal joint design of delegation and verification: what is the optimal rule for a principal if in addition to constraining the agent’s choices, the principal can choose to conduct a costly audit to verify the agent’s information? This project will shed light on questions such as how fiscal rules should make use of escape clause provisions, and how audits should be used in capital budgeting in organizations.


2016

Jonah Rockoff, Professor of Business, focuses much of his research on the management of public schools, including performance measurement, accountability, and organizational structure.

Professor Rockoff used the Eccles Prize Award honorarium to pursue research on the recruitment and evaluation of teachers. Some of this work is in partnership with the Washington DC Public Schools, who are engaged with Professor Rockoff on research to improve processes for screening and selecting the most promising individuals among its applicant pool.


2015

Emi Nakamura, Associate Professor of Business and Economics at Columbia Business School and the Columbia University Department of Economics studies issues related to macroeconomics, international economics, finance, and empirical industrial organization. Her research focuses on developing new empirical evidence on the effects of monetary and fiscal policy, as well as on macroeconomic measurement.

Professor Nakamura used the Eccles Prize Award honorarium to pursue research on measuring the costs of inflation. This project is part of a decade-long research project that Nakamura has been working with coauthors Jon Steinsson, Patrick Sun and Daniel Villar to construct a broad-based database on individual prices in the U.S. economy going back to the late 1970’s. This work will substantially advance the ability of monetary economists to study how inflation affects the economy. 


2014

Amit Khandelwal, the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of Global Business, focuses his research on international business issues. His research has examined the effects of trade barriers and the uptake of new technologies.

Professor Khandelwal used the Eccles Prize Award honorarium to pursue research on the barriers to adoption of new technology. In a recent paper, "Organizational Barriers to Technology Adoption: Evidence from Soccer-ball Producers in Pakistan,” Khandelwal studied incentives for the adoption of new technology and measured the diffusion of technology within Pakistani firms that produce soccer balls.


2013

Paul Tetlock, Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, studies issues related to behavioral finance, asset pricing, and prediction markets. His research tests existing asset pricing models, as well as rational and behavioral models of why stock market investors trade.

Professor Tetlock used the George S. Eccles Research Award in Finance and Economics helped Tetlock pursue three major research projects:

  • Textual analysis of news articles to determine which economic topics garner the most attention from investors.
  • Whether short sales by retail traders predict low returns for stocks and what causes this phenomenon.
  • Literature review exploring passive means of information gathering by investors, including newspapers, press releases, and 10-Ks, as well as active channels, such as investor Internet searches and the use of social networking sites.

2012

Associate Professor of Business Oded Netzer's research aims to develop quantitative methods to gain a deeper understanding of customer behavior while guiding managerial decisions. Capitalizing on the data-rich environment of the twenty-first century, he works to leverage data more effectively in order to address pressing business problems.

The George S. Eccles Research Award in Finance and Economics helped Netzer to pursue two research projects that generated meaningful knowledge from a wealth of data. These projects are not only garnering valuable insights about consumer behavior, they are also helping to develop tools for the world of marketing research.