Ufuk Akcigit, the Arnold C. Harberger Professor in Economics and the College, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Graduate Placement in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics was awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. Akcigit was one of four University of Chicago scholars to receive the award this year and one of 184 fellows selected among 3,000 applicants.

Guggenheim Fellowships have been awarded since 1925 to scholars on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. Akcigit’s research focuses include macroeconomics, economic growth, firm dynamics, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

The below information regarding Ufuk Akcigit’s research can also be found in the original article published at news.uchicago.edu.

He is a leader in the study of innovation and its role in economic growth. By recruiting microlevel data to inform macroeconomic models, his work unites traditionally separate approaches in the field. By combining macroeconomic and microeconomic perspectives, he has produced research cited by numerous reports, including those issued by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the administration of President Barack Obama.

His Guggenheim Fellowship will support research into understanding various layers that connect innovation policies to economic growth. In particular, he will seek to understand how societies can utilize their talent pool more effectively, and produce more scientists and inventors through better education and innovation policies.

“I am planning to interrogate even the basic assumptions undergirding economic policy,” Akcigit said. “Challenging such conventions will pave the way for stronger data-driven policy.

Akcigit’s contributions to scholarship and policy have been recognized by a number of prestigious awards, including a National Science Foundation Career Award, the Asaf Savas Akat Economics Prize, and the Kiel Institute Excellence Award in Global Economic Affairs.

He was also awarded the 2019 Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award, which is providing 1.5 million euros ($1.78 million) of research funding over five years. Akcigit is using the funds to investigate how and why eastern Germany continues to lag behind its western counterpart, even three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Find the full list of Guggenheim Fellowship recipients here: https://www.gf.org/announcement-2021/.


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