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News Releases

Feb 23, 2006

Harvard Professor Andrés Velasco Will Receive First IDB Award for Excellence in Economic Research

Economist cited for contributions to policymaking, innovate work

Harvard Economics Professor Andrés Velasco will receive the first Inter-American Development Bank Award for Excellence in Research on Feb. 28 at a ceremony in Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., the IDB announced today.

The award recognizes a distinguished researcher who has made significant contributions to both economic research, policymaking and research institution building in Latin America and the Caribbean and who is a citizen of one of the 47 members countries of the IDB. Prof. Velasco was selected after a rigorous review of multiple candidates by a panel of distinguished economists.  The prize competition was first announced in August of 2005.

Now the Sumitomo-FASID Professor of International Finance and Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Velasco has published two economics books and more than 50 papers as well as two novels. The awards jury said his research and publications contribute to a better understanding of capital flows and financial crises in developing countries and provide insight into the selection of the most appropriate exchange rate regime for a developing country.

Velasco served as chief of staff to Chile's finance minister and later as director of International Finance at that ministry, and he was the deputy lead negotiator and chief economist in 1995 for a Chilean trade team.

He is president and a founder of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and the founding editor of the organization’s journal, Economía. He is also president and a founding member of Expansiva, an influential Chilean foundation.

Velasco holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University and M.A. and B.A. degrees from Yale University. Before joining the Kennedy School he was a member of the faculty at New York University for a decade and was director of that institution’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies from 1998 to 2000.

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