The Economics Department

Scholarships & Awards

The Senior Thesis Prize in Economics is an annual prize, established in 2010, for the most outstanding undergraduate honors thesis in economics. In 2013, the prize was renamed to the Daniel Hamermesh Senior Thesis Prize in Economics for contributions to the field by UT Economics professor Dr. Daniel Hamermesh. The prize carries a monetary award of $1,000.  The intent in offering this award is to encourage undergraduate research and honors theses in economics.  Recipients are selected by a subcommittee of the department’s Undergraduate Studies Committee upon review of the economics honors theses completed in the year.

The factors the committee considers are:

  • the importance and complexity of the question the thesis addresses
  • the appropriateness and sophistication of the methodology
  • how carefully the thesis is executed and written
  • the originality of the thesis concept and approach

Eligibility: All students who complete an undergraduate honors thesis in economics will be considered for the award. There is no application.

Amount: The prize carries a one-time payment of $1,000.

Timeline: The committee reviews all honors theses completed during the year.  Typically the recipient will be announced at the end of the spring semester.

Past Recipients of the Senior Thesis Prize in Economics:

  • 2017: Stephen Chen, for his honor thesis titled “Hospital Readmissions and Observation Stays: A first-year analysis of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program” and Victoria Fung, for her honors thesis “The Housing Assignment Problem with Roommates.”
  • 2016: Angie Acquatella, for her honor thesis titled “Quantifying the Effects of Shared Spectrum” and Sam Trejo, for his honor thesis titled “An Econometric Analysis of the Major Choice of First-Generation College Students.”
  • 2015: Shreyas Krishnan Shrikanth, for his honor thesis titled “Beyond Cash: Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
  • 2014: David Oh, for his honor thesis titled “The Gift of Salvation.”
  • 2013: Robert McDowall, for his honors thesis titled "Patterns in Sovereign Default."
  • 2012: Sharanya Rajan, for her honors thesis titled "Missing women in education - Does the existence of son preference among Asian immigrants influence parents' education decisions?"
  • 2011: Juan Salem, for his honors thesis titled "Measuring Residential Housing Price Levels Using Hedonic Regressions."
  • 2010 (inaugural): Audrey Straus, for her honors thesis titled “Education, Wages, and Employment in Pancho Mateo, Dominican Republic.”

For more information about the Economics Honors Program contact Program Coordinator Jana Cole, jana@austin.utexas.edu , BRB 1.114, 512-471-2973.

See also “The Department of Economics Announces First Recipient of the Senior Thesis Prize in Economics”