On the Bank of Lithuania awards from their winners: an opportunity for self-assessment and motivation to achieve more
In over three decades, the Bank of Lithuania awards have been granted to over 30 economic researchers and academics. Some of the award winners are foreigners, others are Lithuanian academics who are well-known abroad. For those wishing to be among these lucky researchers, this year the applications for the Bank of Lithuania awards are open until the end of September.
In 1990, the Bank of Lithuania established the award for significant and relevant work in the field of money circulation, credit and settlements with foreign countries. In 1997, the Vladas Jurgutis Award was established. The Award pays tribute to Prof. Vladas Jurgutis, the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania, and his merits to banking in Lithuania. Several decades later, in 2017, the provisions for granting the Award were reviewed and it was decided to grant this Award for significant scientific research works of Lithuanian economists or foreign economists linked with Lithuanian education institutions carried out within the last five years – published scientific papers, monographs or books. Priority to receive the EUR 10,000 Award is given to the following subjects: activities of the central bank, monetary policy, macroprudential policy, banking and other subjects related to the activities of the Bank of Lithuania.
Furthermore, since 2017, the Bank of Lithuania has been granting the EUR 5,000 Award to honour the authors of the best dissertations in economics or related fields, defended over the last two years until 1 August of the current year. Lithuanians and persons of Lithuanian origin or foreigners who have defended their PhD thesis in economics in a higher education institution in Lithuania are eligible for this Award. Priority is given to the following subjects: activities of the central bank, monetary and macroprudential policy, banking, payments and settlements, investment, etc.
“These Bank of Lithuania awards are intended to encourage Lithuanian or Lithuania-related researchers to be more active in addressing important economic topics, analyse and find answers to increasingly interesting questions and relevant economic problems, and thus contribute to the development of economic science. It is wonderful that applications for these awards are coming in with topics that address more and more interesting real-world problems, and that some researchers who received the awards just a few years ago are now enjoying excellent careers as researchers,” says PhD Aurelija Proškutė, Acting Head of the Bank of Lithuania’s Centre for Excellence in Finance and Economic Research (CEFER).
Motivation to do more
The Bank of Lithuania has already granted a number of awards to experts who have made their mark in academic and public life. The first researcher to receive the Vladas Jurgutis Award under the updated criteria was Agnė Kajackaitė, PhD in Behavioural Economics. The researcher was recognised in 2018 for her co-authored research paper “Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie”. It examines why people choose to lie and how much their lies cost. This original and high-quality research paper has also been published in the American Economic Review, one of the most prestigious academic journals.
It was already next year that the academic’s name was in the limelight thanks to her research on thermostat fights in offices, which was picked up by numerous magazines, TV channels and media giants such as the New York Times, Time, CNN and the BBC. In addition, this year she published a book, “WO/MEN”, which shatters conventional wisdom.
“Although I had done a lot of research and was well-known in the behavioural economics community abroad, nobody knew me in Lithuania, and the Vladas Jurgutis Award was my first recognition in the Lithuanian academic world. So when I read the email informing me that me and my co-authors had been granted the Award, I was more excited than I was about the accolades I had received abroad. This Award made me realise that my work is also interesting and important in my home country, and I felt part of the Lithuanian academic community and started to actively participate in it. The Vladas Jurgutis Award was the first step in my return to Lithuania with my work,” says PhD Agnė Kajackaitė.
The Vladas Jurgutis Award has also been granted to foreign affiliated researchers of Lithuanian education institutions. Matthias Gerhard Weber with his co-author Arthur Schram were awarded for their collective work “The non-equivalence of labour market taxes: a real-effort experiment”. The researchers showed that the mathematically equivalent amount of income tax paid by the employer and the employee, and the amount of post-tax remuneration have different effects on the employee’s effort and willingness to work, depending on whether the employer or the employee pays the income tax. The insights from this work have been used to implement the 2019 Lithuanian labour income tax reform.
The winners of the Bank of Lithuania awards are not only foreigners, but also Lithuanian researchers working abroad on problems in different countries. Last year, another winner of the Award, PhD Alminas Žaldokas, attracted a lot of attention from the global academic community. His research paper cowritten with Abhiroop Mukherjee and Manpreet Singh on the relationship between corporate taxes and corporate investment in innovation was published in the Journal of Financial Economics, one of the three leading academic journals in finance.
For this research paper, the authors compared the performance of similar companies located near the internal borders of different states in the US, which were exposed to broadly similar economic trends, with the exception of a corporate tax hike in one of the states. By comparing the performance of companies before and after the tax hike, it was estimated that companies in the tax hikes states reduced their investment in innovation, obtained fewer patents for innovation, which ultimately affected economic growth in the longer term.
Now PhD Alminas Žaldokas, a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is conducting research on corporate governance, innovation, families and other topics, developing new plans and urging academics to apply for both the Vladas Jurgutis Award and the Award for the Best Dissertation.
“Both awards are a great opportunity to assess the quality of one’s work and motivate one to do more. Compared to similar international awards, most of them focus either on lifetime achievement or on work published in the last year. Meanwhile, the Bank of Lithuania’s Vladas Jurgutis Award, which draws attention to research conducted over the last five years, has a good balance in terms of relevance of the research in a particular period and the impact it has already had on other academic research and economic policy decisions,” says PhD Alminas Žaldokas.
Every year in August and September the Bank of Lithuania invites economic researchers and those with a PhD in economics and finance to apply for the award. The papers submitted are assessed by a commission comprising researchers from CEFER, representatives of Lithuanian and foreign universities and members of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania. This year applications can be submitted until 30 September. Find out more here: https://www.lb.lt/en/bank-of-lithuania-awards-for-scientific-activities