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Faculty of Economics

 

The Adam Smith Prize Endowment Fund awards two prizes annually for the Part IIB of the Economics Tripos, best overall performance and best dissertation submitted.

The prize for the best overall performance in Part IIB of the Economics Tripos has been jointly awarded to Liam Grant (St John’s College), David Lee (Christ’s College) and Neal Patel (Homerton College).

 

Liam Grant

Liam Grant

David Lee

David Lee

Neal Patel

Neal Patel

 

The prize for the best dissertation was jointly awarded to Andrew Koh (Hughes Hall) and Michael Bennett (St John’s College).

 

 
Andrew Koh

Andrew Koh

 

 

Andrew Koh (Hughes Hall), for his dissertation on ’A Network Approach to Bayesian Persuasion‘.

ABSTRACT
I study environments characterised by global supermodularity and local communication networks. A sender whose payoff increases in the aggregate action across a heterogenous population designs a single signal structure. When signals are public, this generically exploits asymmetries in tipping points. I then consider seeded persuasion where the sender chooses receivers to target. Receivers reside on a directed network and endogenously relay/withhold information from their neighbours. I offer graph algorithms to find equilibria and optimal seeds, and establish necessary and sufficient minimax-maximin inequalities for increasing connectivity to be sender-favourable. A distinctive form of homophily is sufficient for sender- maximum payoffs. This has sharp implications for topics including anti-vaccination and political protests.

 

 
Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

 

 

Michael Bennett (St John’s College), for his dissertation on ‘Consumer Preferences and Animal Welfare: Variable-Population Models of the Farming Sector’.

ABSTRACT
I analyse a market failure concerning the treatment of animals in agriculture. When humans and firms do not consider the impacts of their decisions on animals, I show that any undistorted competitive equilibrium with transfers is human-optimal but socially sub-optimal; human optimality comes at the expense of animal welfare. In particular, under a plausible condition it holds that average welfare per animal – which is determined by firms’ profit- maximising input mix – is too low in such an equilibrium. However, a two-pronged intervention simultaneously targeting input and consumption mixing decisions can improve animal welfare at little cost to humans.

 


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