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Calvó-Armengol Prize Laureate Melissa Dell wins 2020 Clark Medal

Melissa Dell delivers the Calvó Prize Lecture

Melissa Dell gives the Calvó Prize Lecture in Barcelona in 2018.


The American Economic Association has awarded the 2020 John Bates Clark Medal to Melissa Dell (Harvard University) "for her major contributions to the field of political economy and development."

The Clark Medal is awarded annually to an economist under the age of 40 and working in the United States who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

"Through her pioneering careful and creative data collection and empirical work, Melissa Dell has advanced our understanding of the role state and other institutions play in the daily lives of and economic outcomes of ordinary people. In doing so she has also given a new energy and direction to the entire field of political economy and development," the AEA stated. 

In 2018, Professor Dell became the fifth recipient of the Calvó-Armengol International Prize in Economics. The Calvó-Armengol Prize (or "Calvó Prize") was established by the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics together with Govern d'Andorra and Crèdit Andorrà to recognize a top researcher in economics or social sciences younger than 40 years old for contributions to the theory and comprehension of the mechanisms of social interaction.

All four of the recipients who preceded Professor Dell also received the Clark Medal either before or after they won the Calvó Prize.

Melissa Dell receives the Calvó Prize in Andorra
Professor Dell receives the Calvó-Armengol Prize in Andorra

The Calvó-Armengol Prize Committee had this to say about Professor Dell's work when they announced her as the next recipient of the Prize: "Melissa Dell’s research is already considered pathbreaking in illuminating how political institutions function. Her work combines historical data with clever means of identifying causal patterns in order to understand what leads political and social systems to function well or poorly. Her highly original, important research provides careful and deep new insights into areas that defined the research program of [the Prize's namesake] Toni Calvó-Armengol." 

Watch Melissa Dell's Calvó Prize Lecture

The sixth winner of the Calvó-Armengol Prize is Benjamin Golub (Harvard University). Prize activities for this edition have been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis and will be celebrated in Barcelona and Andorra when possible.