Benjamin Moll becomes the 8th Calvó-Armengol Prize Laureate

Professor Moll speaks on stage during his lecture

Benjamin Moll (London School of Economics) became the eighth laureate of the Calvó-Armengol International Prize in Economics in a celebration this June that included an award ceremony in Andorra and delivery of the Calvó-Armengol Prize Lecture in Barcelona.

The Calvó-Armengol Prize honors the memory and research legacy of Professor Antoni Calvó-Armengol (1970-2007). It is awarded by the Barcelona School of Economics (BSE) and the Government of Andorra.

"Together, we have built over these years a very strong and prestigious prize that is an international reference," said BSE's director, Teresa Garcia-Milà. "I would say it is now an aspiration for young researchers in Economics to be awarded the Calvó-Armengol Prize." 

The caliber of the Prize's recipients has certainly contributed to its growing reputation. A highlight came in 2019, when the first Calvó-Armengol Prize Laureate, Esther Duflo (MIT) shared that year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.

In their announcement of Professor Moll's selection last fall, the Calvó-Armengol Prize selection committee, comprised of Antonio Cabrales (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), Melissa Dell (Harvard University and Calvó-Armengol Prize Laureate), Benjamin Golub (Northwestern University and Calvó-Armengol Prize Laureate), and Joan Llull (IAE-CSIC and BSE), highlighted the policy relevance and analytical rigor of Professor Moll's research, qualities that are one of the throughlines connecting him to all of the previous Calvó-Armengol Prize laureates and to the Prize's namesake. 

2024 ceremony celebrates both Benjamin Moll and Stefanie Stantcheva

This year's Calvó-Armengol Prize ceremony took place in Andorra on June 11, 2024 with the Head of the Government of Andorra, Xavier Espot, presiding. During the ceremony, Professor Cabrales read the jury statement explaining that Professor Moll was selected to receive the Calvó-Armengol Prize "for his groundbreaking contributions on the role of heterogeneity, whether pertaining to individuals or the constraints they face."

In addition to awarding this edition of the Prize to Professor Moll, the ceremony was also an opportunity for the previous laureate, Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard University), to deliver a pre-recorded acceptance speech in place of the Prize activities for the seventh edition, which could not take place as planned.

Professor Moll (center) with Head of the Government of Andorra Xavier Espot and BSE General Director Teresa Garcia-Milà at the ceremony in Andorra on June 11, 2024. (Photo credit: Govern d'Andorra)

Video: Professor Stantcheva's Calvó-Armengol Prize acceptance speech (10m 55s)

Thinking broadly about social interactions and the economy

Professor Moll delivered the eighth Calvó-Armengol Prize Lecture, "Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomics: Eight Lessons and a Challenge," on June 12, 2024 in Barcelona.

In his introduction of the lecture, Professor Llull explained one connection that the selection committee saw between Antoni Calvó-Armengol the microeconomist and Benjamin Moll the macroeconomist.

"Beyond being a remarkable microeconomic theorist, Toni was a very broad thinker who deeply cared about how social interaction shaped the economy," Professor Llull said. "This is why we as a jury thought that if the Prize was ever to be awarded to a macroeconomist, there could be no better way to honor Toni than awarding it to a very broad economist like Ben," Professor Llull said.

Video: Benjamin Moll, VIII Calvó-Armengol Prize (2m 53s)

Video: Full Calvó-Armengol Prize Lecture by Professor Moll (1h 26m)

The venue for Professor Moll's lecture was the incomparable UAB Casa Convalescència, a jewel of Modernist architecture which has been part of Barcelona's social fabric since the end of the 19th century. Today, the house is part of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the university that was home to Professor Calvó-Armengol. We can think of no better place to hear Professor Moll's lecture as he becomes part of Professor Calvó-Armengol's legacy.

Prize Lecture in the Aula Magna of UAB Casa Convalescència in Barcelona, June 12, 2024.

Prize Laureate Benjamin Moll (center) with members of Antoni Calvó-Armengol's family, Toni's advisor and BSE founder Andreu Mas-Colell, BSE director Teresa Garcia-Milà, Andorra's Head of Research for the Ministry of Education Margarita Ceña Cosials, and member of the Calvó-Armengol Prize selection committee Joan Llull (IAE-CSIC and BSE).

View more photos from the lecture

Media coverage

This edition of the Calvó-Armengol Prize received support from the Severo Ochoa Research Excellence Program (CEX2019-000915-S) through Spain's State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigación - AEI).