Chicago Booth’s Mullainathan awarded 2018 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences

Influential economics scholar recognized for groundbreaking work in behavioral economics

Sendhil Mullainathan

University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Sendhil Mullainathan has been awarded the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences 2018 by the Infosys Science Foundation, a non-profit trust based in India.

The award is designed to elevate the prestige of science and research in India and inspire young Indians to choose a vocation in research. Recipients must Indian residents who have done world-class work in India.

Mullainathan, University Professor, Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science, and George C. Tiao Faculty Fellow at Chicago Booth, was recognized for his research and impact on several fields: public finance, development, corporate governance and policy design. The nominating committee also noted his “computational ability combined with his use of behavioral psychology in analyzing economic phenomena make him creative and unique.”

Mullainathan’s research spans broad areas of economics:  behavioral, labor, public economics and corporate finance, and most recently has focused on the intersection of machine learning and public policy. His seminal research includes topics ranging from the impact of poverty on mental bandwidth to using fictitious resumes to measure discrimination.

“This is a prize that really tries to encourage Indians to enter research and is more of a symbol to inspire others,” Mullainathan said.  “I particularly cherish the mission of this prize since in India, a lot of the best minds go into commerce or medicine or engineering. Research is not really as widely understood as a field.’

The prize honors outstanding achievements of contemporary researchers and scientists across six categories: engineering and computer sciences, humanities, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences. Recipients each receive a pure gold medal and a prize purse of $100,000.