The John Bates Clark Medal is given every two years to the American economist under the age of 40 who is deemed most influential. Congratulations to Susan Athey, a Harvard professor, who won the award today! She is the first woman to win the award.
I got to know Susan and her husband Guido Imbens very well four years ago when I spent the year at Stanford, where she taught at the time. She was a pillar of that department and when she and Guido left for Harvard, it was a real loss for Stanford (and for Berkeley, where Guido taught).
Susan has been a favorite to win this prize since she left graduate school. When she was looking for her first job as a freshly minted Ph.D., the New York Times profiled her as the superstar of her cohort. Looks like they got it right.
While the committee is quite tight-lipped about others in the running, my hunch is that my colleague and co-author John List was likely the runner-up. Others who I imagine might have been on the short list: Marianne Bertrand, Esther Duflo, Austan Goolsbee, Sendhil Mullainathan, Ilya Segal, and Rob Shimer. University of Chicago economists are over-represented on my list partly because we have many of the top young economists, but also because I know how old the economists here are with much more precision than at other schools. So apologies to those whose names I should have included on this list, but didn’t.