Goldin and Leung awarded 2021 Rees Dissertation Prize

Sept. 23, 2021

Jacob Goldin, associate professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Pauline Leung, assistant professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University have been awarded the 2021 Albert Rees Dissertation Prize.

The prize is awarded every two years for Princeton Ph.D. dissertations, completed within the last six years, judged to have made outstanding contributions to labor economics. The prize commemorates Al Rees's great contributions to labor economics at Princeton as a scholar, teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.

The prize carries an honorarium and a commemorative plaque.

Jacob Goldin Headshot

Jacob Goldin, "Essays in Behavioral Economics and Taxation"

"I'm so gratified to receive this prize! The empirical tools I learned from my classes in labor economics and in the IR Section have been the foundation for much of my work since then, even topics more traditionally rooted in behavioral economics, health economics, and public finance. Whenever I begin a new project, I appreciate the training and support I received from the IR section faculty during my time at Princeton, including how to think about credible identification and practicing "hands above the table" econometrics."

Headshot of Pauline Leung

Pauline Leung, "Four Essays on the Economics of Social Programs"

"I'm so honored to have been selected! My dissertation was about the design of different aspects of social programs that serve disadvantaged populations, focusing particularly on unemployment insurance (UI) and Medicaid. One related piece that I worked on since (with Section members and alumni, David Lee, Zhuan Pei, and Simon Quach, and Chris O'Leary at the Upjohn Institute) also looks at the UI program. We examine different policies that dictate the amount of benefits that unemployed workers receive and propose a new way to measure their economic efficiency.

I would go as far as to say the IR Section shaped my work even before I was a member of the Section -- my interest in social programs and the methods used to understand their effects had its genesis from reading influential papers (many of which were connected to the IRS) in my applied econometrics class in college. During my time in the Section, I appreciated how welcoming the members of Section were -- of new people and of new ideas -- which is not always the case in economics."