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MIT’s Amy Finkelstein Wins John Bates Clark Medal April 30, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Award Winners, Featured Prize.
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By Neil Shah of the Wall Street Journal

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Amy Finkelstein won the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark medal.

The economics profession’s most prestigious award after the Nobel Prize, the Clark medal is given every year to the nation’s most promising economist under the age of 40. It’s a good predictor of future Nobel Prize winners: Of the 34 people who have won the award since 1947 — the Clark used to be given biennially — 12 went on to the win the Nobel Prize later, including Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman. (One economist calls the Nobel Prize “the Clark with a 25-year lag.”)

The 38-year-old Finkelstein has focused on public finance, health economics and the insurance market.

In one experiment, she and other researchers tracked a group of low-income, uninsured adults in Oregon who were randomly picked to get — or not get — the chance to apply for public health insurance. Because it was a randomized controlled trial, the experiment sidestepped common pitfalls that researchers examining the effects of insurance face, including the tendency of sicker people — or unusually healthy people — to seek insurance.

The result: A year later, those selected by the lottery to be able to apply for Medicaid were more likely to have Medicaid, used more health care, had lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and reported better physical and mental health.

Read original article here: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/04/27/mits-amy-finkelstein-wins-john-bates-clark-medal/

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