MIT Professor Wins Award As ‘Most Promising Economist Under 40’


A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Parag Pathak won the John Bates Clark award for his contribution to the field of economics, for his work on market design and education policy, and has become the youngest, most influential economist under 40.

Pathak has been a professor of economics and microeconomics at MIT’s Department of Economics since 2008. In a statement by the American Economic Association, the association said, “Pathak clearly the researcher under age forty who has contributed most both to the general field of market design, and, in addition, to what has been its most important application in the last decade or so, that of education policy.”

They also added that he “pushed the boundaries of known theory to make it sensitive to cognitive limits of participants and relevant to practical environments. Pathak has developed creative empirical tools to evaluate the impacts of various policy issues facing the educational environment; examples being the case for charter schools and the impact of exam schools and voucher systems.”

In his studies based on an evaluation of a ‘Knowledge is Power’ Program charter school using assignment lotteries, it was found that in Boston, charter school enhance student attainment, and has been key to expanding the accessibility to these charter schools. His research has led to an influx of students to the public schools.

Pathak proved to be a worthy candidate because he has carried out convincing analysis of different policies designed to improve secondary education. Using innovative and theoretical techniques, he has provided policy advice that has already positively influenced the lives of over one million public school students.

This award is merely another feather on Pathak’s cap of achievements, which include being named an Econometric Society Fellow in 2016, 2014’s IMF 25 Economists Under 45 list, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 2012, and the NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012, among others.


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