Professor Gary S. Fields has been named the winner of the 2014 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Prize in Labor Economics. This prize is the most prestigious in the field. Fields is Professor of Economics and the John P. Windmuller Chair of International and Comparative Labor. He is also a Fellow of the Institute for Compensation Studies in Cornell's ILR School.
In making its award, the IZA Prize Committee described Fields as "a unique scholar, who has fundamentally shaped our understanding of labor markets in the developing world, helping policymakers tackle one of today's most pressing tasks – the reduction of global poverty and inequality."
His most recent book, Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey, reaches beyond the academic to provide a snapshot of the energies that those in poverty around the world put into working, and yet remain poor. "Gary Fields, with great sensitivity," writes George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, "…shows how we can increase and improve employment to alleviate their suffering. We all have a moral responsibility to read and to understand his message."
Professor Fields is the second ICS Fellow to win this top honor. Four years ago, Professor Francine D. Blau was awarded the 2010 IZA Prize (See: www.iza.org/en/webcontent/prize/history/prize2010/iza_prize)