Economics Prof. Emmanuel Saez wins Wihuri International Prize

October 9, 2023

Berkeley Economics Professor Emmanuel Saez

UC Berkeley Economics Professor Emmanuel Saez has been awarded the 2023 Wihuri International Prize for his work on specializing in tax policy and economic inequality, the Wihuri International Prizes Fund announced on Monday. 

A globally recognized researcher in public economics, Professor Saez began his career at Berkeley began in 2001 and he also serves as the director of UC Berkeley’s James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality Raised in France, Saez has extensively researched themes crucial to the welfare state and their interconnections. His work combines theory and empirical methods in a novel way, examining issues related to taxation and income distribution and bringing economic theory closer to everyday decision-making. Professor Saez's other key research theme is the study of economic inequality. Alongside French economist Thomas Piketty and UC Berkeley Economics Professor Gabriel Zucman, Saez has contributed to the World Inequality database, a comprehensive resource describing the development of inequality across different countries.

"We, as a foundation, believe that our society needs more understanding of the prerequisites for the sustainability of the welfare state. Emmanuel Saez has significantly advanced research on the financing, structures, and development of the welfare state," says Arto Hiltunen, the chairman of the fund's board.

Saez has been awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 2009, often considered the second most important economics prize after the Nobel. He has also been named 2023 Citation Laureate for his wealth inequality and tax policy research, received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 for exceptional talent in his field and an honorary degree from Harvard University in 2019.

The Wihuri International Prize is given in accordance with the foundation’s rules to individuals or organizations that have "promoted the intellectual and economic development of humanity." The recipients have primarily been scientists. The first international Prize went to mathematician Rolf Nevanlinna in 1958, and the previous award went to sustainable global food system researcher Navin Ramankutty in 2020. Emmanuel Saez's award is the 21st Wihuri International Award.

Wihuri International Prizes Fund video of Emmanuel Saez