The European Economic Association

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Newsletter JEEA

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Hicks-Tinbergen Award

In 1991 the EEA created a medal to be awarded once every two years (even years) to the author(s) of an outstanding article published in the Association’s Journal during the two preceding years. Until the end of 2002 this journal was the European Economic Review (EER). From January 2003 the article is chosen from the Journal of the European Economics Association (JEEA). It has been named the Hicks-Tinbergen medal to make it clear that the EEA stands for both theoretical and empirical work in economics in Europe. It was awarded for the first time in 1992 at the Dublin Congress. EEA members are invited to nominate papers for this Award.

The 2014 Award Winner

The Award Committee has awarded the Hicks-Tinbergen medal 2014 to Amy Finkelstein, Erzo F.P. Luttmer, and Matthew Notowidigdo for their article "What Good Is Wealth Without Health? The Effect of Health on the Marginal Utility of Consumption" (published in JEEA Volume 11 Issue s1). The study tackles the estimation of how the marginal utility of consumption varies with health status, an important input for the determination of optimal health insurance and transfer programs. Yet, changes in marginal utility are difficult to estimate using revealed preference. The authors propose an innovative approach that uses happiness data instead to get directly at measures of utility. In particular, they estimate how measures of happiness vary with consumption, depending on the health status of the survey respondents. The estimates imply that an increase in diseases is associated with a decline in the marginal utility of consumption. This study shows that one can take happiness responses quantitatively into account in the determination of public policy.

The EEA warmly congratulates the winners.

The Hicks-Tinbergen award was presented during the annual EEA Congress in Toulouse, France, August 2014.

Hicks-Tinbergen Award Committee 2014 – Fabrizio Zilibotti (Chair), Manuel Arellano and Maristella Botticini.

View Matthew Notowidigdo explain more about this paper here.


Please click here for past recipients.

Last update November 20, 2014
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