Bibek Adhikari, who completed his doctoral degree in economics from Tulane University in May 2016, has won the prestigious Irving Fisher Award from Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honors society of Economics. This award was announced at the recent annual meetings of the American Economic Association in Chicago, IL, and comes with a cash award of $1,000.
Bibek won the award for his job market paper, which provides estimates of the efficiency gains of introducing a VAT in a worldwide sample of countries using the synthetic control method. The synthetic control is a weighted average of countries without a VAT that closely resembles the economic structure and outcomes of the country with a VAT for several years before the adoption of a VAT. Bibek finds that the VAT has a positive and economically meaningful impact on economic efficiency, but only for high-income countries. Bibek suggests this could be because a success of a VAT depends on whether a country can properly design and enforce a VAT -- which in turn depends on the initial level of development of the country in question.