PHILADELPHIA, August 3, 2021 — The Chairman, Directors, and Officers of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE) take pleasure in announcing Dr. Judd Kessler, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as the 2021 recipient of the Vernon L. Smith Ascending Scholar Prize.
Named after Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith, and made possible through the generosity of the Rasmuson Foundation and other contributors, the Smith Prize seeks to inspire early-career scholars to emulate Dr. Smith’s joyous zeal for scientific discovery. Set this year at $50,000, the Smith Prize is a “budding genius” award that recipients may use flexibly to advance social science in whatever manner they choose.
To many, Vernon L. Smith’s career epitomizes success as a social scientist. That career bespeaks commitment to exploring theoretical foundations in economics, social science, and science generally; quantifiable impacts in transforming economics into an experimental and more empirical discipline; collegiality in funding, mentoring, and collaborating with fellow scholars; and curiosity in looking beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries in search of truth. The Smith Prize hopes to inspire recipients, early in their careers, to set lofty goals for themselves as social science theorists, practitioners, colleagues, mentors, and truth-seekers.
Dr. Kessler has emerged as one of the leading young scholars in applying experimental methods to real-world problems in public goods, particularly charitable giving and worker effort. He has also made important contributions in mechanism design, such as priority systems for organ donation.
The International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics is pleased to congratulate Dr. Kessler and looks forward to following his career in the years to come.