RHUL Economics alumnus Juan Vargas has been awarded the prestigious 'Juan Luis Londoño' prize in Colombia for outstanding academic achievement and impact on Colombian public policy
The 'Juan Luis Londoño' prize is awarded every two years to a Colombian economist under the age of 40 with an academic production that is both high quality and capable of informing the implementation of public policies that improve the well-being of Colombians. The award is the equivalent of the Bates Clark Medal in the US. The theme areas considered by the jury are: poverty and inequality; health and education; labour markets and informality; and conflict and violence.
The award honours the memory of Juan Luis Londoño, a Harvard-educated former Minister of Health and Social Protection who died in a plane crash in 2003 at the age of 44.
The 2018 Juan Luis Londoño prize was given to RHUL Economics’ alumnus Juan Vargas (PhD, 2007) now Professor of Economics at Universidad del Rosario, as well as to his coauthor Leopoldo Fergusson. The 2018 prize was awarded, for the first time since its establishment in 2006, to two recipients. By doing so, the jury wanted to reward the value of their collaborative output, as well as their constant joint effort to understand the political economy roots of the institutional weakness in Colombia and its pervasive internal conflict.
According to the jury, Vargas and Fergusson have obtained outstanding academic achievements, including a large number of top publications and have had a sizeable impact in Colombian public policy. They have mentored scores of younger economists interested in the area of political economy who have themselves become academics.