The 2020 AEJ Best Paper Awards Have Been Announced
The 2020 AEJ Best Paper Prizes have been awarded. The papers selected are highlighted below.
AEJ: Applied Economics
In "Children and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Denmark," authors Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais, and Jakob Egholt Søgaard examined labor data from Denmark to compare how the birth of a child affected the careers of men and women differently. The effects were substantial and lasted for many years, creating a long-run earnings gap of around 20 percent. But this "child penalty" wasn’t just about a smaller paycheck—it influenced where new mothers chose to work and diminished promotion opportunities. The paper showed that the negative effects of children on careers of women compared to careers of men were large and have not fallen over time. (AEJ: Applied Economics, Vol 11, No. 4, October 2019.)
AEJ: Economic Policy
In "Who is Screened Out? Application Costs and the Targeting of Disability Programs," Manasi Deshpande and Yue Li measure the extent to which application costs for disability benefits affect who applies and gets aid from the program. Using administrative data, they compared the number and composition of applicants and recipients in areas where the nearest Social Security Administration office closed to those that didn't have an office closure until several years later. Closings led to a 16 percent decline in the number of disability recipients in surrounding areas, with the largest effects on applicants with moderately severe conditions and low education levels. (AEJ: Economic Policy, Vol 11, No. 4, November 2019.)
In "A Model of Secular Stagnation: Theory and Quantitative Evaluation," authors Gauti Eggertsson, Neil Mehrotra, and Jacob Robbins created a framework for understanding the secular stagnation hypothesis. They found that the United States may have entered a new era of ultra-low interest rates because of its aging population. This could mean that traditional, macroeconomic policy prescriptions won't work as expected for the foreseeable future. (AEJ: Macroeconomics, Vol 11, No. 1, January 2019.)
In "Discrimination via Symmetric Auctions," authors Rahul Deb and Mallesh Pai find a major flaw in the strategy many US states are using to ensure that procurement auctions don’t have rules biased in favor of bidders from certain groups. They show that the current approach—a so-called symmetric auction—imposes virtually no restrictions on sellers' ability to discriminate. Instead, the researchers offer their own set of simple policies governments can use to enforce fairer outcomes. (AEJ: Microeconomics, Vol 9, No. 1, February 2017.)