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Young Scientist Award 2006

Xavier Gabaix has received Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics from the AKSOE


  • For the pictures, please see here
  • Find the press release here (in German: PDF)

    During the annual conference of the AKSOE in Dresden, March 26 - 31, 2006, which was part of the March meeting of the German Physical Society, Dr. Xavier Gabaix has received the YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARD FOR SOCIO- AND ECONOPHYSICS. AKSOE (http://www.ais.fraunhofer.de/~frank/AKSOE) is a section of the German Physical Society (DPG) devoted to the ``Physics of Socio-Economic Systems''. One of our aims is to foster research on these topics in Germany and to coordinate our activities and those of similar societies across Europe. Our objective is also to interest young physicists in economic, urban, and social problems.


    The YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARD FOR SOCIO- AND ECONOPHYSICS recognizes outstanding original contributions that use physical methods to develop a better understanding of socio-economic problems. It was sponsored by McKinsey & Company with an endowment of EUR 5,000. and is intended for young scientists (f/m) not older than 35 years. For the award, in 2006 we have received 32 nominations (from fourteen countries) for qualified candidates currently working in eleven different countries, which have been evaluated by an international jury. The winning candidate, Dr. Xavier Gabaix (age 34) graduated from Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, in 1995 and received his Ph.D from Harvard University in the field of Economics in 1999. At present, he is Associate Professor of Economics at MIT, Boston.


    Dr. Xavier Gabaix receives this award for his outstanding contribution to our understanding of open problems in socio- economic systems. He developed a scientific explanation for the so-called Zipf-law, the observation that the size distribution of cities and of firms obey a characteristic scaling law. In his further research, Dr. Gabaix applies methods from statistical physics to better understand financial markets. His research provides a mathematical understanding of large stock market fluctuations and the observed scaling laws in number and volumes of transactions. With similar theoretical methods, Dr. Gabaix studied the causes of macro-economic fluctuations and found that dramatic events which concern single large companies are an important cause of macro economic volatility. Finally, the economist Dr. Gabaix, through his continuing co-operation with physicists, created important bridges between physical methods and their application in economics, as well as fertilized the new area of physics of socio-economic systems in a remarkable way.


    Stefan Bornholdt
    Chairman of AKSOE

    Visit Xavier Gabaix homepage at New York University

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