Paul Frijters

QUT’s Professor Paul Frijters has received the 2009 Young Economist Award from the Economic Society of Australia. It’s a biennial award, with the first receipient (in 2007) being Joshua Gans.

Paul’s award is richly deserved. He works on a vast array of topics, running the gamut from labour economics to development economics to econometrics. Paul works with amazing speed (he told me yesterday that he typically aims to write his first paper drafts in a single sitting), and has a CV that’s the envy of just about every economist in the country.

Paul is also the guy you want in seminars, whether as an audience member asking tough questions with typical Dutch directness; or as a presenter combining substance, anecdotes, theory, and methodology.

And as well as doing research on social capital, he believes in it. Practically every day at ANU, he would walk the corridor at noon, knocking on doors and shouting ‘the lunch train is leaving!’. We’ve missed him greatly since he left in 2006 for the humid shores of the Brisbane River.

I had to fly back from the Australian Conference of Economists yesterday just before Paul gave his presentation, but fortunately he’s posted the powerpoint and a background paper on his website. He chose to focus on a major research project that he is involved with, looking at rural-urban migration in China (perhaps the largest mass migration in history).

Congratulations, Paul.

6 thoughts on “Paul Frijters”

  1. Nicely done Paul.

    I studied a masters degree in economics at QUT recently and found Paul approachable and exceptionally knowledgable.  And as you mention, his tough questions as an audience member will keep any presenter on their toes.


  2. As one of Professor Paul Frijter’s PhD students I was very proud when he received the Top Young Economist Award from his peers. I have witnessed the contribution Paul has made to Economics Research at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He has been a magnet,  attracting a team of researchers, students and prestigious visitors to our School of Economics & Finance. Our School has achieved much. When  Paul first joined QUT three years ago, the profile of Economics  Reserach at QUT was very low on the horizon. Today we are proud of our  achievements and the standard of our research team continues to rise  towards a zenith that has been driven by Paul’s vision. In the image   of himself, Paul has attracted research professors and their students;  we are proud to see QUT ranked among the better Economics  Schools in Australia. When the Australian Economic Society recognised  Professor Frijters as the Best Young Australian Economist, they were  just formalising what we his students already knew, Paul is not only  the best of Economists, he is the glue that holds together Economics  Research at QUT.


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