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Kilian Huber headshot, Awarded 2024 Sloan Fellowship

Kilian Huber, associate professor of economics, has been awarded a 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship.

The two-year fellowships—given annually by the New York­–based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation—include a $75,000 cash award and honor early-career researchers in chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and related fields. In order to qualify, researchers must have a PhD in one of the designated fields and be an untenured faculty member with a regular teaching obligation at a college, university, or other degree-granting institution.

“Sloan Research Fellowships are extraordinarily competitive awards involving nominations of the most inventive and impactful early-career scientists across the US and Canada,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the foundation, in a press release. “We look forward to seeing how Fellows take leading roles shaping the research agenda within their respective fields.”

Since joining Booth in 2019, Professor Huber has focused his research on how the financial sector interacts with what economists refer to as the real economy—that is, the production, distribution, and sale of goods and services in the marketplace.

His ultimate goal, he says, “is to provide a better understanding of how the economy works and to help shape government policy for dealing with shocks and recessions.”

In a recent paper, Huber and Niels Gormsen, the Neubauer Family Associate Professor of Finance and a Fama Faculty Fellow, explore how unconventional cost-of-capital calculations have slowed down total investment but led to a boost in green projects. (Read more about it in coverage from Chicago Booth Review.)

Huber currently has two other coauthored projects underway, one of which analyzes how connections between different industries and regions can be measured in nationally comprehensive statistics and then be used to shape economic policy. The other examines how financial shocks, such as the recent rise in interest rates, affect the behavior of companies. One of Huber’s research assistants on the latter project is Rohan Mathur, a fourth-year UChicago student who’s the first admit to Booth’s new Master in Finance Program.

“I’ve benefited tremendously from the culture at Booth. People are always asking ... whether you’re doing the right thing and whether you’re thinking about questions the right way. It’s a terrific environment and one that’s very supportive of junior researchers.”

— Kilian Huber

Huber collaborates with researchers around the globe and expects both projects to take up to five years to complete.

“I typically spend three years just collecting data,” he says, noting that the $75,000 prize money will help advance his research. “It takes a lot of time and effort to collect good data, and the fellowship will give me and my colleagues the resources to do the very best job possible.”

Teaching also plays an important role for Huber, who says it “forces you to focus on the big questions and also to phrase things in a way that’s intuitively understandable to a nonspecialist audience. It grounds you in a good way.”

Huber was nominated for the fellowship by Anil K Kashyap, the Stevens Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Finance.

“Kilian is an extremely creative researcher,” Professor Kashyap says. “His work is wide-ranging and covers topics as diverse as helping rethink the way we measure national income, improving our understanding of how firms determine their cost of capital, and exploring how disruptions to banks spill over to the economy.”

Prior to joining Booth, Huber was the Saieh Family Fellow in Macroeconomics at the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics.

“I’ve benefited tremendously from the culture at Booth,” he says. “It’s intense. People are always asking you questions about whether you’re doing the right thing and whether you’re thinking about questions the right way. It’s a terrific environment and one that’s very supportive of junior researchers.”

The Sloan Fellowships began in 1955 and have included 57 Nobel Prize winners. This year’s cohort, selected from more than 1,000 entrants, consists of 126 researchers from 53 public and private institutions.

Candidates are nominated by fellow scientists and winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars. This year’s economics nominating committee included Veronica Guerrieri, the Ronald E. Tarrson Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and a Willard Graham Faculty Scholar, as well as Princeton’s Leah Platt Boustan and MIT’s Parag Pathak.


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