Razin Prize


Prize Winner:
Ammar Farooq, Ph.D. Candidate
 for his dissertation essay entitled
"The U-Shape of Over-education? Human Capital Dynamics & Occupational Mobility over the Life-cycle."
Dissertation Advisors: Prof. James Albrecht, Prof. Susan Vroman, Prof. Axel Anderson and Prof. Adriana Kugler
Keynote Speaker:
Alan B. Krueger
Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs
Princeton University 
Monday, April  24, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM
History of the Razin Prize

The Ofair Razin Prize was established in 1997 in memory of Ofair Razin (1966 - 1996; PhD, Georgetown University, 1996), who passed away after a long illness. The Razin Prize was established by Ofair Razin's family and friends to honor his memory, achievements, and courage.

Each year, the Economics Department at Georgetown University takes great pride in awarding the Razin Prize for the best dissertation or research paper produced by an advanced graduate student. The prize consists of a certificate, a monetary award, and an entry on the Razin Prize plaque hanging in the Department.

Professor Assaf Razin presented the first Razin Prize to Masaru Sasaki (PhD 1998) in February, 1998. Dr. Sasaki's winning paper entitled “An Equilibrium Search Model with Co-Worker Discrimination” was subsequently accepted for publication in the Journal of Labor Economics.

In 1998, the Razin family proposed that the annual award ceremony feature a lecture on economic policy by a distinguished economist.  The Economic Department is grateful for the gifts that have made it possible to establish the Razin Economic Policy Lecture.

Past recipients of Razin Prize and Economic Policy Lecture 


Jordan Marcusse "Wage Bargaining and the Beveridge Curve."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. James Albrecht, Prof. Axel Anderson, Prof. Susan Vroman, and Prof. Luca Flabbi
Speaker: Prof. Austun D. Goolsbee (University of Chicago): "Are We Doomed? The American Economy Now and into the Future"


Jason Albert; "Strategic Dynamics of Antibotic Use and the Evolution of Antibotic-Resistant Infection."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Luca Anderlini, Prof. Roger Lagunoff, and Prof. John Rust
Speaker: Prof. George Akerlof (Georgetown University): "Phishing for Phools"


James O'Brien; "Age, Autos, and the Value of a Statistical Life."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Arik Levinson
Speaker: Prof. Assaf Razin (Cornell University and Tel Aviv University): "Liquidity Crises, Currency Crises, and the Euro Crisis: Analytical View."


Mauricio Tejada; "Dual Labor Markets and Labor Protection in an Estimated Search and Matching Model."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Luca Flabbi
Speaker: Prof. Ronny Razin (London School of Economics): "The Debate about Online Debates: What can we learn from Economic Theory"


David Phillips; "Getting to Work: Experimental Evidance on Job Search and Transportation Costs."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. William Jack
Speaker: Prof. David Card (University of California, Berkeley): "Social Interactions."


Jose-Daniel Reyes; "Product Standards Harmonization and Firm Heterogeneity in International Trade."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Rodney Ludema
Speaker: Prof. Thomas F. Cooley (NYU Stern School of Business): "Demography and Capital Flows."


Helena Aten; "Competing Informed Principals and Representative Democracy."
Thesis Advisors: Prof. Luca Anderlini and Prof. Roger Lagunoff
Speaker: Prof. Olivier Blanchard (M.I.T., I.M.F.); "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy."


Alejandro Badel; "Understanding Black-White Inequality: Residential Segregation and Neighborhood Human Capital Expenditures."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Mark Huggett
Speaker: Prof. Michael Greenstone (M.I.T.); "Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation in the United States and India."


T. Renee Bowen; "Dynamic Compromise and Political Institutions."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Roger Lagunoff
Speaker: Prof. Joel Slemrod (University of Michigan); "The Perfect Tax Storm of 2009, 2010, and 2011."


Camilo Mondragon; "Entrepreneurship, Human Capital and Wealth"
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Mark Huggett
Speaker: Prof. Dani Rodrik (Harvard University); "Why Does the Real Exchange Rate Matter to Growth?"


Victoria Hnatkovska; "International Risk Sharing and Portfolio Choice with Incomplete Asset Markets."
Thesis Advisor:  Prof. Martin Evans
Speaker: Prof. Cecilia Rouse, "What Do We Know About School Choice?"


Jens Sondergaard; "Variable Capital Utilization, Staggered Wages and Real Exchange Rate Persistence."
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Behzad Diba
Spaker: Prof. Kaushik Basu, "International Labor Standards and Labor Welfare."


Edouard Vidon; "Human Capital Gains from Unemployment Insurance in a Life-Cycle Search Model."
Thesis Advisor:  Prof. Mark Huggett
Speaker: Prof. Ken Rogoff, "Calm before the Storm:  Preparing for the next round of international financial crises."


          Rodrigo Harrison; "Equilibrium Selection in Global Games with Strategic Substitutes."
             Thesis Advisor: Prof. Roger Lagunoff 
             Speaker: Prof. Paul Krugman, "Depression economics: still returning?"


Matthew Haag; "Reciprocal Entry and Strategic Delay."         
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Roger Lagunoff
Speaker: Prof. Jeffrey Sachs,  "Macroeconomics and Health: Investing in Health and Economic Development."


          Taizo Takeno; "Trade and Environmental Policy under Asymmetric Information." 
             Thesis Advisor: Prof. Rodney Ludema
             Speaker:  Mr. Michael Mussa, Economic Counsellor and the Director of the Department of Research at the
             International Monetary Fund, "The State of the Global Economy."                                                                                                                                        


          Gabriel González-König; "Return Migration: Theory and Evidence from Returning Migrants to Western
             Thesis Advisors: Prof. James Albrecht and Prof. Susan Vroman
             Speaker: Prof. Elhanan Helpman, Harvard University, "Productivity of Nations."


          Shihua Lu; "Industrial Evolution and Import Competition: A Micro-Level Structural Analysis." 
              Thesis Advisor: Prof. James R. Tybout
              Speaker: Stanley Fischer, International Monetary Fund, "The IMF as Lender of Last Resort." 


Masaru Sasaki: "An Equilibrum Search Model with Co-Worker Discrimination."
Thesis Advisors: Prof. James Albrecht, Prof. Susan Collins, Prof. Susan Vroman
Speaker: Prof. Assaf Razin: "Determinants and Consequences of Current Account Reversals and Currency Crisis." 

Prize named in memory of Ofair Razin

Ofair Razin was born on January 27, 1966 in kibbutz Shamir in Israel, near the Golan Heights. He grew up, in Chicago, where his father was a Ph.D. student, and later in Tel Aviv, where he attended Alliance (Kol Israel Chaverim) High School.

After graduation he was drafted into the Israeli Army for 4 years. Although already handicapped, he went through the intensive officer-training course so as to make the compulsory service more meaningful. The source of his physical disability was not properly diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) until his last year of army service.

Ofair attended college at Tel Aviv University, double-majoring in Economics and Psychology. After graduating, he entered the Ph.D. Program in Economics at Georgetown University. Ofair faced two challenges; his increasingly incapacitating illness and a rigorous course of study. During the final stage of the doctoral program, Ofair worked mostly at home under the guidance of his dissertation advisor, Professor Susan Collins.

In the summers while at Georgetown, Ofair had the opportunity to work in the research department of the World Bank. He gained experience with data analysis, which was useful for the dissertation that he completed a few weeks before his death on December 16, 1996. His Ph.D. was awarded posthumously.

The main chapter of his dissertation was prepared by Professor Collins for publication after his death. It now appears as Chapter 3: "Real Exchange Rate Misalignments and Growth," by Ofair Razin and Susan Collins, in The Economics of Globalization: Policy Perspectives From Public Economics (Assaf Razin and Efraim Sadka, eds., Cambridge University Press, April 1999). The book is dedicated in Ofair's memory.