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Undergraduate Awards


The Economics Department awards four prizes annually:

  1. The Tate Whitman Prize in Economics
  2. The Jack and Lewis Greenhut Prize
  3. The George Benston and Richard Muth Prize for Excellence in Economics
  4. Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

The W. Tate Whitman Prize in Economics

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This award is for the ability to present clear, cogent analysis of complex issues, extraordinary personal integrity, and wise leadership in the classroom and department.

2021 Recipient is Nikita Dsouza

Nikita DsouzaNikita’s thesis evaluates how sequential decision models fare as an alternative to simultaneous decision models in low-stakes settings with choice overload. The study tracks how decision utility varies as participants navigate low-stakes decisions across an “all-at-once” simultaneous choice presentation and a sequential “two-options-at-a-time” binary choice presentation. Her study finds statistically significant evidence that -- for low-stakes subjective decisions -- participants derive higher decision utility when presented with the simultaneous choice as opposed to the sequential one. This may be the result of the escalating feelings of commitment, indifference, and regret that arise when decision-makers navigate sequential decisions.

YearAward Winners
     2020     
Max Krauskopf
2019Tejas Kashyap
2018Jonathan Kaminski
2017Tori Herren
2016Sarah Paik
2015Kimberly Varadi

The Jack and Lewis Greenhut Prize

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This prize is awarded to a graduating senior who has demonstrated the highest degree of excellence in classwork, research, and scholarly activities.

2021 Recipient is Danielle Handel

Danielle Handel

Danielle’s honors thesis studies the effects of natural disasters on infant health. Specifically, using spatial storm track data and demographic and health survey data from India, she examines how exposure to tropical cyclones affects children's health early in life. She finds that cyclones raise early mortality rates, especially in rural areas and for children of vulnerable mothers, supporting the case for increased focus on fetal and maternal care in natural disaster relief.

YearAward Winners
     2020     
Andrew Teodorescu
2019Sarah Mahoney
2018T. Anders Olsen
2017Nanyu Chen
2016Yixuan Chen
2015Cindy Xinha Jiang

The George Benston and Richard Muth Prize for Excellence in Economics

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This award celebrates the spirit of both Prof. George Benston and Prof. Richard Muth, whose strong commitment to research and reputation for excellence helped facilitate Emory’s change to becoming the world class research institution it is today. In their honor, we give this award to the student who demonstrates exemplary intellectual curiosity, passion, and skill in economic analysis.

2021 Recipient is Phoebe Lei

Phoebe LeiPhoebe’s thesis investigates the relationship between Environmental and Social Governance, or ESG, ratings and mutual fund performance for bond mutual funds over the COVID-19 crisis period. The paper sheds light on the value investors put on sustainability, and how it is incorporated into their pricing of securities. Through the analysis of factor-adjusted returns, she finds that bond mutual funds underperformed the market during the crisis period but outperformed the market both before and after the crisis. Bond mutual funds with higher ESG ratings generated higher crisis-period returns compared to their lower-rated counterparts. These results suggest that sustainable bond mutual funds are more resilient to large negative shocks, and investors were able to exploit this advantage and invested in these sustainable funds as a hedging strategy before the crisis struck.

     Year    
Award Winners
2020Miaomiao Zhang
2019Claudia Hurowitz
2018Alexis Korman
2017Shaina Shapera
2016Xin (Bella) Li
2015Hal Zeitlin

Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

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This award recognizes undergraduate students who have served as exceptional teaching assistants in our Economics classes.

2021 Recipient is Sofia Benzi

Sofia Benzi

Sofia was a teaching assistant (TA) for Professor Paloma Moyano’s lab portion of Econ 320, our core econometrics class, this Spring semester. Back when Sofia had taken Econ 320 herself, it was taught only in R, so she had to teach herself Python to be able to help students. In Prof. Moyano’s words, “Sofia went above and beyond, teaching herself new coding techniques to help students with their difficulties, and leading them to success.” This demonstrates extraordinary dedication. 

     Year    
Award Winners
2020Hannan Sylla
2019Tiffany Chen
2018Joseph Medeiros