2014 EIB Prize

 EIB Prize 2014 goes to Nicholas Bloom (Stanford University) and John Van Reenen (LSE)



Professor Nicholas Bloom from Stanford University and Professor John Van Reenen from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), two internationally renowned European scholars in the field of managerial and technological innovation, were awarded the EIB Prize for excellence in economic research 2014 by Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

The ceremony took place at Freie Universität Berlin with the participation of Georg Schütte, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The “EIB Outstanding Contribution Award” – a EUR 40 000 prize – acknowledges the two scientists’ pioneering research on the effects of innovation on economic performance and inequality as well as their impact on public policy. The topic for the 2014 EIB Prize was “Innovation, Market Structure and Competitiveness”.

Werner Hoyer praised the scholars’ significant research on factors driving productivity inside businesses. “(Their) work shows that the positive effect of technology spillovers is far greater than the negative effects of business being lost to market rivals. This is a significant result and implies that, if left alone, firms may invest too little in R&D. This gives direct justification to strong financial support of R&D projects, by the Bank and/or Member States, as is the case here in Germany.”

For Professor John Van Reenen, successes in European integration – the EU is the largest single market in the world – would be thwarted by continuously slow growth. Yet productivity and innovation could rekindle growth. “Major improvements are possible and desirable if opportunities are seized through structural reforms. However, these structural reforms must be accompanied by accommodating monetary and fiscal policies,” he emphasised.

For Professor Reinhilde Veugelers (KU Leuven), a member of the Jury, the laureates’ research “allows us to identify more clearly the particular characteristics of firms and markets that policies can actually influence to get more return out of innovation and turn it into productivity and growth”.

For Georg Schütte, the laureates’ findings “illustrate the close interdependence of growth and innovation. This resonates well with what we call qualitative growth – growth that is firmly grounded in education, research and innovation. The EIB Prize helps accentuate this qualitative dimension. It also points to the wealth and accomplishments of European research.”

The EIB Prize was created in 2013 by the EIB Institute to recognise and stimulate excellence in economic and social research, and promote its implementation and diffusion. Research considered for the prize is of specific relevance to European development and integration.

The jury, presided over by Sir Christopher Pissarides, Professor, LSE, 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, was composed of: Philippe Aghion, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; Sir James Alexander Mirrlees, Nobel Memorial Prize Laureate in Economic Sciences; Gianmarco Ottaviano, Professor of Economics and Director of the Globalisation Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance (LSE); and Reinhilde Veugelers, Professor at KU Leuven (BE) at the Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation.

Professor John Van Reenen has been Director of Europe’s leading applied economics research centre, the Centre for Economic Performance, since 2003. He is also a Professor of Economics at the LSE and fellow of the British Academy. Professor Nicholas Bloom, co-recipient of the 2014 EIB Prize, is a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research as well as Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He is also an Associate of the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, and a Co-Director of the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme, National Bureau of Economic Research.