The Toulouse School of Economics has announced that the 2021 Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize will go to Princeton Professor Roland Bénabou. The prize is awarded annually to a renowned international economist whose research, in the spirit of the work undertaken by Professor Jean-Jacques Laffont, combines both the theoretical and the empirical.
In recognition of the prize, Bénabou will present his work at a lecture this fall, organized in partnership with the City Hall of Toulouse.
Bénabou has been a member of Princeton’s faculty since 1999. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the School of Public and International Affairs. His research spans both macroeconomic and microeconomic areas, such as the interplay of inflation and imperfect competition, or speculation and manipulation in financial markets.
Bénabou’s recent work lies in three main areas. The first links inequality, growth, social mobility and the political economy of redistribution. The second centers on education, social interactions and the socioeconomic structure of cities. The third is that of economics and psychology (“behavioral economics”). It focuses in particular on extrinsic incentives versus intrinsic motivation, on the determinants of prosocial behavior and on motivated beliefs, both individual (overconfidence, wishful thinking, identity) and collective (groupthink, market manias, ideology, religion).
Bénabou is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the Econometric Society, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research, Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor, Senior Fellow of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, and a member of the Behavioral Economics Roundtable. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study and a Guggenheim Fellow.
He is currently a coeditor of the American Economic Review and serves or has served on the editorial board of numerous other journals such as the Review of Economic Studies, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Economic Growth and the Journal of the European Economic Association.
Bénabou earned his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.