TIAA-CREF Announces Winners of the 2010 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award

January 2011

 

Winners Will be Recognized at Allied Social Science Associations Annual Gathering Convention on January 7, 2011

New York, January 4, 2011 - The TIAA-CREF Institute has announced the winners of the fifteenth annual TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security. Carmen M. Reinhart, the David Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and Kenneth S. Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Harvard University, were selected and recognized for their best-selling book, “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.”

The award is named after Nobel Prize winner Paul A. Samuelson in honor of his achievements in the field of economics, as well as for his service as a CREF trustee from 1974-1985. The Samuelson Award is given annually in recognition of an outstanding research publication containing ideas that the public and private sectors can use to maintain and improve America’s lifelong financial well being. A $10,000 prize is awarded to the winner.

Combing through data from 66 countries and across five continents, Reinhart and Rogoff focused on patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, government defaults on international and domestic debts, housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment and government revenues to demonstrate that these crises are not isolated events. Reinhart and Rogoff show how closely each of these events hew to a discernible and predictable pattern through the last eight centuries.

Lessons of History
“Reinhart’s and Rogoff’s fascinating book provides realistic tools for future prevention of societal financial crises through the identification of critical recurring precipitating events,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, head of the TIAA-CREF Institute. “The award was designed to encourage and recognize thorough examination of economic principles and theory which can inform policy decisions and improve financial security for individuals and their families. This year’s winning book provides a vivid reminder about the lessons of history.” See more information about the book here.

For more information about the TIAA-CREF Institute, which manages the Samuelson Award program, visit www.tiaa-crefinstitute.org.

Dr. Reinhart received her Ph.D. and an M.A. and M. Philosophy from Columbia University. She held positions as Chief Economist and Vice President at the investment bank Bear Stearns in the 1980s, where she became interested in financial crises, international contagion and commodity price cycles. Subsequently, she spent several years at the International Monetary Fund. She is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has written and published on a variety of topics in macroeconomics and international finance and trade including: international capital flows, exchange rates, inflation and commodity prices, banking and sovereign debt crises, currency crashes, and contagion. Her papers have been published in leading scholarly journals.

Professor Rogoff received his B.A. and M.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2003 Rogoff went on public service leave to serve as chief economist and Director of Research of the International Monetary Fund. Rogoff's 1996 treatise with Maurice Obstfeld on the Foundations of International Macroeconomics remains the standard graduate reference in the field. His monthly column on global economic issues is published in over forty countries, in more than half a dozen languages. He is also a frequent commentator in the media on economic issues.

The TIAA-CREF Institute will present the Samuelson award on January 7 in Denver during the annual Allied Social Science Associations annual convention.

Certificate of Excellence
The Institute this year also awarded a certificate of excellence. This year’s recipients are Sumit Agarwal of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, John C. Driscoll of the Federal Reserve Board, Xavier Gabaix of New York University and David Laibson of Harvard University for “The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life Cycle with Implications for Regulation.”

In their paper, the authors seek to raise a red flag about the increasingly large and complex balance sheets of older adults, who will comprise a growing percentage of the population in the coming decades. The authors studied lifecycle patterns in financial mistakes, such as excess interest rate and fee payments, and concluded that younger and older adults may need additional guidance and support from the financial services industry to avoid costly errors in the use of consumer credit. Find a link to the paper here.

“The findings in the Age of Reason paper about financial mistakes made primarily by both younger and older adults are extremely important and the authors’ analyses of several approaches to help individuals avoid costly errors add great value for both policy makers and firms like TIAA-CREF who seek to enhance lifelong financial security,” said Bell-Rose.

About the Samuelson Award Selection Process
The Samuelson Award winner is selected by a panel of distinguished judges made up of TIAA-CREF Institute fellows and previous award winners. This year’s panel includes:

  • George A. Akerlof, University of California, Berkeley
  • Gary Engelhardt, Syracuse University
  • Amy Finkelstein, MIT
  • Judith R. Lave, University of Pittsburgh
  • Thomas Rietz, University of Lowa

About the TIAA-CREF Institute
The mission of the TIAA-CREF Institute is to foster objective research, build knowledge, support thought leadership, and enhance understanding of strategic issues related to higher education and lifelong financial security. For additional information, please visit www.tiaa-crefinstitute.org.

About TIAA-CREF
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization with $434 billion in combined assets under management (as of 9/30/10) and provides retirement services to the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Media Contact
Chad Peterson, TIAA
cpeterson@tiaa-cref.org
704 988-6811

TIAA-CREF Institute is a division of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), New York, NY.

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