IZA Prize in Labor Economics

Lawrence F. Katz (Harvard University) was awarded the 2020 IZA Prize in Labor Economics for his 35 years of research documenting changes in earnings inequality and showing the role of the expansion of educational opportunity in increasing living standards. Worth 50,000 euros, the IZA Prize is regarded as the most prestigious science award in the field. It was "virtually" conferred on January 4, 2021.

According to the award statement, “Lawrence Katz is universally recognized in the world of economics as a remarkably imaginative and productive scholar, who combines profound economic research with an interest in current basic and specific issues of public policy. Most important, the same recognition is given to his decency in dealing with other economists, especially junior researchers.” More in the IZA Newsroom.

About the IZA Prize

A sound understanding of problems in labor economics has proven ever more important in light of the adjustment processes that are currently taking place in the international labor markets. In order to account for this trend, the Institute of Labor Economics - with generous support from the Deutsche Post Foundation - has created the "IZA Prize in Labor Economics". This now biennial Prize is awarded for outstanding academic achievement in the field of labor economics. It is meant to stimulate research that tries to find answers to the important labor market policy questions of our time. In November 2002 the IZA Prize was awarded for the first time [view all past prize-winners].

More than 1,600 renowned labor economists are affiliated with IZA as Research Fellows and Affiliates through its worldwide network. These influential economists are entitled to nominate candidates for the prize. The decision is made by the IZA Prize Committee, which consists of distinguished economists.

The IZA Prize in Labor Economics underscores the central importance of labor market research in shaping the "Future of Labor."

For further information, please contact: prize@iza.org


IZA Prize Book Series

All prize-winners contribute a volume to the IZA Prize in Labor Economic Series published by Oxford University Press, which has been established to provide an overview of the laureates' most significant findings.

Each IZA Prize Laureate contributes a volume to this unique collection of seminal research covering a broad range of topics in labor economics. IZA experts serve as co-editors of the series.

Published and forthcoming volumes include:

  • MORTENSEN/PISSARIDES: Job Matching, Wage Dispersion, and Unemployment
  • EASTERLIN: Happiness, Growth, and the Life Cycle
  • LAYARD/NICKELL: Combatting Unemployment
  • LAZEAR: Inside the Firm: Contributions to Personnel Economics
  • CARD/KRUEGER: Wages, School Quality, and Employment Demand
  • BLAU: Gender, Inequality and Wages
  • BLUNDELL: Labor Supply and Taxation
  • HAMERMESH: The Demand for Labor: The Neglected Side of the Market
  • BORJAS/CHISWICK: Foundations of Migration Economics
  • FIELDS: Employment and Development
  • GOLDIN: An Evolving Force - the History of Women in the Economy (forthcoming)
  • SVEJNAR: Workers, Firms, and Transition (forthcoming)