ESSAY AWARD FOR YOUNG ECONOMISTS
The Selection Panel also gave an honourable mention to Torsten Søchting Jaccard of the University of Toronto for his paper entitled “Who Pays for Protectionism? The Welfare and Substitution Effects of Tariffs”.
Mathilde Muñoz's paper explores the implications of “job postings” on labour market outcomes and welfare. Job posting is an increasingly important offshoring transaction falling under so-called mode 4 services trade, whereby workers move temporarily to a foreign country to perform the contracted task (e.g. plumbing services) but remain employed and paid by the foreign firm. Basing her work on evidence in the European Union, Ms Muñoz shows that the use of job postings has triggered large economic gains in low-wage countries sending employees but it hurts low-paid workers in high-wage countries where the tasks are undertaken.
“The paper brings out very interesting information that can help policymakers look at what is really happening in trade in services within the EU and draw appropriate conclusions, and I think the work can be extended even further in ways that can benefit developing countries,” Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a meeting with Ms Muñoz in Geneva. “I think the future of trade is services, is green, is digital, and this work focuses on one particular area which I think is the future. I'm very proud that the WTO has this prize and sets out to look for young people who are doing exciting, cutting-edge work.”
In the view of the Selection Panel, Ms Muñoz's essay is a novel, technically outstanding, impressive and creative paper that addresses an issue of great relevance to world trade and the WTO. It is also an area that has been largely neglected by existing literature.
Mathilde Muñoz is a French national. She received her Ph.D. from Paris School of Economics in 2022. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality at the University of California, Berkeley and will join the faculty of University of California, Berkeley in July 2023 as an Assistant Professor of Economics.
“I'm incredibly honoured to win this award. I think it's incredibly useful for economists and young researchers to meet policymakers and to talk about these very important issues, to connect research to people who try to implement trade policy and understand what are the actual problems and what the negotiations are about. I would encourage all young economists, in particular women and people from underdeveloped countries, to apply to this award,” Ms Muñoz said.
Torsten Søchting Jaccard's paper studies the distributional costs to US consumers of country-specific tariffs. It shows that US tariffs imposed on imports from low-income countries pose a bigger burden on poorer households, with a negative impact on rural communities, while US tariffs imposed on imports from high-income countries pose a bigger burden on richer households, with a negative impact on urban communities. It shows that the urban/rural disparity in exposure to tariff policy is driven by the extent to which purchasing habits differ across urban and rural counties in the United States and by the alternatives available on the domestic market to consumers.
In the judgement of the Selection Panel, Mr Jaccard's essay is a fascinating paper that provides novel insights into the distributional costs of tariffs to consumers, highlighting the link between household characteristics, their consumption tendencies and domestic alternatives available to consumers to assess the impact on consumer welfare.
Torsten Søchting Jaccard is a Canadian and Danish national. He is a fifth year Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Toronto. He will spend the 2022-23 academic year as International Economics Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College, United States, and will join the Vancouver School of Economics at University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2023 as an Assistant Professor.
The Selection Panel comprised Beata Javorcik (Professor of Economics, University of Oxford), Robert Koopman (Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO), Robert Staiger (Professor of Economics, Dartmouth University) and Alberto Trejos (Professor of Economics, INCAE Business School). Roberta Piermartini (Chief of Section, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO) coordinated the work of the Selection Panel.
DG Okonjo-Iweala with the Essay Award Winner Mathilde Muñoz.
Roberta Piermartini (Chief of Section, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO) with the Essay Award Winner Mathilde Muñoz.
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