Raghuram Rajan, the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics.
Winners of the Center for Financial Studies’ biennial award are chosen by a jury of financial research and practice experts. Rajan will be presented with the award Sept. 26 in Frankfurt, Germany. The award is presented with Goethe University Frankfurt, and the Deutsche Bank Donation Fund provides the 50,000 euro endowment.
Rajan, the chief economic adviser in India’s Finance Ministry, is the second Chicago Booth professor to receive the Deutsche Bank award. Eugene Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, won the inaugural prize in 2005. Other winners include Michael Woodford, a professor of political economy at Columbia University, in 2007; Robert J. Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University and professor of finance at Yale School of Management, in 2009; and Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics and of Public Policy at Harvard University in Cambridge, in 2011.
“I am honored, of course,” Rajan said. “It is a prize first won by Gene Fama, followed by Shiller, Woodward and Rogoff. These are people I admire greatly, and with any such honor, you have doubts about whether you belong in such an elite group. So it is also a humbling experience.”
The Center for Financial Studies cited Rajan’s original and diverse influence on the field of financial economics.
“Raghuram G. Rajan’s work spans a remarkably broad range of areas in financial economics most important to the development of economies worldwide,” Michael Haliassos, jury chairman and CFS director, wrote in a release. “This includes the impact of financial development on growth, banking and financial crises, as well as corporate finance and governance. His work develops novel empirical and theoretical approaches with significant policy implications.”
Rajan said that with a large number of deserving candidates, it is hard to discern what set him apart. “From the citation, I would guess it is my work on the financial crisis, overlaid on two decades of academic work with a number of co-authors from the school and elsewhere,” he added.
The Center for Financial Studies also cited Rajan’s warning, in a 2005 speech at an annual gathering of economists in Jackson Hole, Wyo., about the risks of financial developments and a looming financial disaster. Rajan told the Wall Street Journal in 2009 that he had started his research for “Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier?” intending to show the positives of financial developments, but found the opposite.
“Rajan’s penetrating analysis of the changing growth experience during the postwar era and of the differences in the nature of the crises faced by the United States and by Southern Europe is essential reading for understanding the current policy dilemmas between austerity and growth facing both sides of the Atlantic,” the center wrote.