'Big picture' economist wins top prize

27 Oct 2020

Professor Markus Brueckner has won one of Australia's most prestigious prizes in economics - the 2020 Young Economist Award from the Economic Society of Australia (ESA).

The annual award honours Australian economists under the age of 40 who have made a significant contribution to economic thought, economic knowledge, and the application of economics to public policy and public debate.

Professor Brueckner, who is based in the ANU College of Business and Economics, has been recognised for the focus and relevance of his work, as well as his extensive research track record, which the ESA describes as "uniquely impressive".

"First, his work - like the focus of the best economists - is always big picture," reads the award citation. 

"He has chosen some of the major issues of our time: the effectiveness of fiscal policy during times of financial crisis; the economic determinants of civil war; and economic issues related to democratic transitions.

"Second, his research has attracted the attention and citation of some of the world's top economists, in the very best journals.

"Third, he has made a significant impact on policy through numerous projects with the World Bank, covering diverse topics across the globe, including Latin America, the Middle East, the Russian Federation, East Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific."

Writing about Professor Brueckner's accolade, ANU Trevor Swan Distinguished Professor of Economics, Rabee Tourky said the award sets Brueckner "among Australia's leading economists".

"To my mind, Markus is one of the greatest Australian scholars in economics. He's the future and present of ANU economics," he said.  

"During the covid-19 crisis, economics in Australia has witnessed a great deal of introspection about its role in mitigating the negative effects of the public health response to the pandemic. I am especially glad that Markus, who is a superb advocate for open public debate in economics, has been recognised by the Economic Society of Australia in 2020. 

"We are proud of you Markus.  I am honoured to work alongside you in this great department of Economics, and wonderful university."

The Young Economist Award is the most prestigious award for a young Australian economist and in the past has gone to Andrew Leigh, Paul Frijters and Gigi Foster, among other winners.

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