Upjohn Institute announces 2022 Dissertation Award winner and honorable mentions

Collage of three Upjohn Institute dissertation award winners

The Upjohn Institute is pleased to announce its 2022 Dissertation Award winners. For over a quarter century, the Institute has sponsored annual awards for the best Ph.D. dissertations on employment policies and issues.

The first prize goes to Joonas Tuhkuri with the dissertation "Essays on Technology and Work" for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Honorable mentions were awarded to Ingrid Haegele for her dissertation on "Gender and Misallocation in the Labor Market," for the University of California, Berkeley, and to George Zuo for his dissertation on "Bridging Economic and Educational Disparities in America" for the University of Maryland at College Park.

Joonas Tuhkuri portrait

Joonas Tuhkuri is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Berlin School of Economics and will be joining Stockholm University as an assistant professor of economics next year. Through careful empirical analysis and fieldwork on advanced technology investments, Tuhkuri’s work points to an important class of technologies whose adoption neither reduces employment nor requires a more skilled workforce, countering mainstream narratives about technology’s implications for workers. His research also provides policy-relevant evidence on the role of psychological traits in the labor market and on the effects U.S. manufacturing’s decline has on the educational attainment of children in affected communities. His dissertation consists of four papers:

  • New Evidence on the Effect of Technology on Employment and Skill Demand (with Johannes Hirvonen and Aapo Stenhammar, both of Aalto University)
  • Psychological Traits and Adaptation in the Labor Market (with Ramin Izadi, Aalto University)
  • School vs. Action-Oriented Personalities in the Labor Market (with Ramin Izadi, Aalto University)
  • The Surprising Intergenerational Effects of Manufacturing Decline
Ingrid Haegele mug

Ingrid Haegele is an assistant professor of economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. Her research addresses urgent questions about gender inequity among employees. Using novel data from a German company, she digs deeply into the context of gender disparities in promotions and provides insights that should change the way we think about the glass ceiling. Haegele's dissertation is presented in three chapters:

  • Talent Hoarding in Organizations
  • The Broken Rung: Gender and the Leadership Gap
  • Gender, Leadership, and Differences in Job Applications
George Zuo

George Zuo is an associate economist with Rand Corporation. His research provides insights with concrete policy implications across a range of issues central to the Upjohn Institute’s mission: place-based social infrastructure, individual adults' access to labor market opportunity, and young people's education and development. He presents his dissertation research in three papers:

  • Wired and Hired: Employment Effects of Subsidized Broadband Internet for Low-Income Americans
  • Suspending Suspensions: The Education Production Consequences of School Suspension Policies (with Nolan Pope)
  • Getting Beneath the Hood of Effective Place Based Policies: Evidence from the Community Development Block Grant 

The Upjohn Institute, as an employment research and services organization, is committed to supporting emerging scholars who advance our collective knowledge on employment issues and inform better policymaking. Dissertation Award first-place winners receive a prize of $2,500. Honorable mentions receive $1,000 prizes.

We maintain a list of past winners and honorable mentions going back to 1995 on our website.