MIT economist Nancy Rose receives the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award

The prestigious prize honors leadership in advancing the status of women in the economics field through example, scholarship, achievements, and mentoring.

MIT economist Nancy L. Rose, the Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics, has been awarded the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP).

The annual prize, named in honor of the late Wellesley College faculty member who was the first chair of CSWEP, recognizes an individual who has furthered the status of women in the economics profession through example, achievements, increasing our understanding of how women can advance in the economics profession, or mentoring others. The CSWEP prize citation notes that Rose is “an accomplished scholar, an award-winning teacher, a gifted advisor and mentor, and a strong academic leader.”

Accepting the award, Rose thanked mentors, colleagues, and generations of MIT students for inspiring and motivating her work and service. She called for renewed commitment to expanding the diversity of the economics profession, not only to strengthen the talent pool, expand research agendas, or because “it’s the right thing to do,” but also for its ability to transform, for the better, the experiences of all economists.

Rose’s research focuses on industrial organization, especially the role of regulation in affecting firm behavior and consumer welfare. She has studied the impact of government policies in the airline, trucking, and electric utility industries. Rose has also played a central role in advising the next generation of scholars in industrial organization. CSWEP notes that “many of the women trained and mentored by Professor Rose have gone on to stellar careers and leadership roles in academia.”

Rose has been an active contributor to both public policy and the economics profession. Between 2014 and 2016, she served as deputy attorney general for economic analysis in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She has served as vice president of the American Economic Association, is currently vice president of the Industrial Organization Society, and was selected as a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT in 2012 for her contributions to undergraduate teaching. Rose also founded, and led from 1990 until 2014, the Industrial Organization program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Rose received her PhD in economics from MIT in 1985, and joined the faculty in the MIT Sloan School of Management Applied Economics Group. In 1994, she accepted a joint appointment in the MIT Department of Economics. She moved full-time to economics in 1997. Rose served as economics department head from 2017 to 2020, the second woman to hold this post. The first, the late Ann F. “Nan” Friedlaender, was department head in 1983-84 and served as the dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences from 1984 to 1990.

Reflecting on the Carolyn Bell Shaw prize, Rose says, “I’m proud of this award, as I think it speaks to the long tradition MIT economics has for promoting women and their contributions to the economics profession. It’s been a great environment for me over my career, and a privilege to pass this along to future generations.”

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