IGC’s Oriana Bandiera and Imran Rasul win prestigious Yrjö Jahnsson Award

The Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation and European Economic Association (EEA) are awarding the prestigious Yrjö Jahnsson Award in Economics to Oriana Bandiera, IGC Steering Group Member and Research Programme Director for State (LSE), and Imran Rasul, IGC Research Programme Director for Firms (University College London).

The award, considered the most prestigious award in European economics, is given to European economists under the age of 45 who have made “a contribution in theoretical and applied research that is significant to economics in Europe”.

The award recognises Professors Bandiera and Rasul’s work on the role of social relationships in economics and their pioneering field experiments in the workplace and social networks, relating specifically to a project examining incentives offered to workers who pick soft fruits in the UK.

Some of their other novel experiments funded by the IGC include Professor Bandiera’s study in Zambia on the effects of incentivising community health workers, which directly influenced the World Health Organization (WHO) to change their global guidelines on community health workers. Professor Rasul’s IGC study on management practices in the Nigerian Civil Service made over 160 recommendations to the government and demonstrated how reforming practices can help delegate tasks away from corrupt officials.

Professors Bandiera and Rasul, founding IGC Research Programme Directors appointed in 2009, play major roles in shaping and leading the IGC’s research programmes and work closely with policymakers on research. Their IGC research include Professor Bandiera’s seven-year evaluation of the BRAC ultra-poor programme in Bangladesh and Professor Rasul’s study that designed, implemented, and evaluated training for civil servants in Ghana.

Former winners of the award affiliated with the IGC include Thomas Piketty (IGC Research Affiliate) in 2013, John Van Reenen (IGC Research Affiliate) and Fabrizio Zilibotti in 2009, Sir Tim Besley (former IGC Steering Group Member) and Jordi Gali in 2005, and Torsten Persson (IGC Research Affiliate) in 1997.

Recipients of the award are nominated by a selection committee made up of members from the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation which is approved by the EEA Executive Committee. More information about the award and the winners’ contributions to economics can be found here.

Professors Bandiera and Rasul will receive their awards during the annual EEA Congress, which will be held in Manchester in August 2019.