ABOUT THE PRIZE
The SIEPR Prize was inspired and first funded by George Shultz, who served as President Nixon’s secretary of Labor and Treasury and later led the State Department in the Reagan administration.
The prize recognizes economists who have made significant contributions to economic policy. Recipients are selected by Shultz and four other leading economists:
- Mark Duggan – Director of SIEPR
- Jim Poterba – President of the National Bureau of Economic Research
- John Shoven – Former Director of SIEPR
- Kenneth Arrow – Winner of the Nobel Prize in economics
Since the program’s founding, four individuals have won the SIEPR Prize: Paul A. Volcker, former Federal Reserve Chairman, in 2010; Martin S. Feldstein, Harvard professor and former Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, in 2012; Stanley Fischer, former Governor of the Bank of Israel, now serving as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, in 2014; Alice Rivlin, former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, now a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, in 2016.
Volcker received the prize for dramatically changing the course of U.S. monetary policy during his tenure as Fed Chairman from 1979 to 1987. He oversaw a record rise in short-term interest rates breaking the back of a dangerous inflationary spiral. His courageous leadership to pursue this long-term strategy in spite of a short-term deep recession helped usher in a period of subdued inflation and long-term economic growth.
Feldstein was recognized for his pathbreaking leadership as a policy thinker. He rigorously analyzed Social Security, showed how changing demographics affect the economy, led the profession in focusing on health policy, and warned about the economic costs of large federal budget deficits.
Stanley Fischer won for his leadership at important policymaking institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Bank of Israel. As an economics professor at M.I.T., he was mentor to students who went on to become some of the most influential economic policy leaders of our era, including Ben Bernanke, Mario Draghi, and Greg Mankiw.
Alice Rivlin won for her contributions to economic policy, including her tenure at the Fed and when she served as the Founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office and Deputy Director and Director of the Office of Management and Budget.