Upjohn Institute announces 2023 Dissertation Award winners and honorable mention

Collage of dissertation winners Althoff Carry Minni

The Upjohn Institute is pleased to announce its 2023 Dissertation Award winners. The institute has sponsored awards each year since 1995 for the best Ph.D. dissertation on employment policies and issues.

This year, the award committee chose to award two first prizes and one honorable mention. First prizes go to Lukas Althoff with the dissertation “The Modern and Historical Roots of Inequality” for Princeton University and Pauline Carry with the dissertation “The Micro and Macro of Labor Market Policies” for CREST (Center for Research in Economics and Statistics). Honorable mention goes to Virginia Minni with the Ph.D. thesis “Essays on the Allocation, Coordination and Selection of Workers” for the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dissertation Award first-place winners receive a prize of $2,500. Honorable mentions receive $1,000 prizes.

Pauline Carry, 2023 Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award winner

Pauline Carry is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago. In 2024, she will join Princeton University, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and School of Public and International Affairs. Her research focuses on labor economics and macroeconomics. From the award committee:

Carry’s dissertation considers the core labor economics topic of working time and its regulation. Her dissertation uses linked employer-employee panel data to examine the effect of a 2015 reform in France mandating a minimum workweek of 24 hours. Her estimates suggest that, at affected firms, the reform increased average hours per worker, reduced the number of jobs and overall hours worked, and led to the replacement of part-time female workers by full-time male workers. To gauge the broader effects of the reform, Carry constructs a general equilibrium search and matching model and shows that the reform destroyed one percent of jobs but had no effect on total work hours, due to positive spillover effects.

Lukas Althoff, 2023 Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award winner

Lukas Althoff is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and will join the Yale School of Management as an assistant professor of economics in 2024. He researches causes and consequences of inequality using tools from applied microeconomics and economic history. From the award committee:

Althoff’s dissertation is an outstanding work of economic history that, based on painstaking work linking data sources, sheds light on the historical sources of racial inequality. In particular, the first chapter of the dissertation is pathbreaking research showing that the socioeconomic status of Black families today depends on the state in which their ancestors were freed. The severity of racially oppressive Jim Crow laws passed by Southern state governments after the Civil War, and enforced until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, varied substantially among the states. Althoff and his coauthor find that Black families whose ancestors were exposed to more severe Jim Crow laws have worse outcomes today, apparently because of reduced educational opportunities, the effects of which have carried over.

Virginia Minni, 2023 Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award honorable mention

Virginia Minni is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Fiscal Studies. She will join the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2024 as an assistant professor of economics. Her research focuses on labor, organizational and development economics. From the award committee:

Minni’s dissertation considers both the important role of managers and leaders in labor markets, and the negative effects on productivity of restricting women’s labor market participation. In particular, Minni’s first chapter is an original and data-intensive work of personnel economics that shows that better managers in large corporations can help make their supervised workers more productive by better matching workers to jobs.

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