Hunter College Professor Gets Mexico’s Highest Economics Award

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Sangeeta Pratap

Sangeeta Pratap, professor of economics at Hunter College has been awarded the Banamex Prize, an annual award recognizing the best research, analysis, and solutions to the economic problems in Mexico.

The international prize, Mexico’s highest and the most distinguished economics award is administered by the Banco Nacional de Mexico, the country’s largest commercial bank.

Jointly written with colleagues from the Instituto Tenológico Autónomo de México, where she worked for eight years before coming to Hunter, Pratap’s paper analyzes the linkages between the cost and availability of credit and the efficiency of different economic sectors.

The authors found that economic growth is possible, even in a macro-economic crunch when general credit availability is low, if credit is carefully allocated towards certain sectors of the economy that are primed to use it most effectively and increase productivity. Economic growth, the authors determine, depends on strategic resource management.

For more than 60 years, this award has selected and championed the work of some of the most notable minds in economics in and around Mexico, including writer and intellectual Grabriel Zaid, Governor of the Bank of Mexico Augustín Carstens, economist Santiago Levy, and former Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Luis Videgaray Caso.

The prize-winning paper is titled “Credit, Misallocation and Productivity Growth.”

Pratap was born in India and studied at universities in India, the U.K., and the United States, earning her Ph.D. in economics from New York University. She joined the Hunter Faculty in 2006. Pratap has also held visiting positions at the European University Institute in Florence and the Paris School of Economics.

“I have worked for several years analyzing the processes of economic development in Mexico, a country very dear to my heart,” said Pratap. “I am thrilled to receive the Banamex prize along with my co-authors recognizing our work,” she said in a press statement Jan. 27.

She traveled to Mexico City for the award ceremony last month, where the prize was given by Mexican Minister of Finance Jose Antonio Meade.

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