2021 SER Best Article Prize

Socio-Economic Review Best Article Prize

The SER Best Article Prize committee (Jeanne Lazarus [chair],  Elizabeth Gorman, and Aldo Madariaga) considered all the reviewed papers for the 2020 issues of Socio-Economic Review, including symposia papers, but not state of the art, discussion or review forum papers.  The committee looked for papers that: 1) addressed substantive questions and issues that have far reaching implications and are of interest to a broad range of SER readers; 2) clearly and effectively engaged prior theory and research; 3) used state of the art research methods to analyze new or existing data sets in ways that either brought important new phenomena to light or substantially revised existing understanding of socio-economic facts, trends or relationships; and 4) were written with clarity, fluidity and readability.

The committee is delighted to announce that the winning paper is “The Financialization of Policy Preferences: Financial Asset Ownership, Regulation and Crisis Management(Socio-Economic Review 18(3): 655–680), by Stefano Pagliari, Lauren M. Phillips, and Kevin L. Young

The committee decision text reads: 

The empirical part is based on the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, completed by a proprietary base called Catalist, in order to look at the support for two major bills that followed the 2008 financial crisis: the Relief Asset Program (TARP), which would help to bailout Wall Street banks and the package of financial regulatory reforms known as the Dodd-Frank Act. The authors test the US Citizens support to these reforms looking at demographic variables (including their race/ethnicity category) and most of all their key explanatory variable of interest is the ownership of financial assets. With impressive multi-analyses, the results confirm the author’s hypotheses that financial asset ownership increases the support for bailouts and decreases the support for financial regulation.

These results are refined with several other questions: they show the importance of the context, in period of financial booms, the identification with financial industry by households who own financial assets is higher than in period of crises. Also, class matters: the emergence of ‘financial culture’ is not even among social groups.

To conclude, this article provides strong results to an important and little explored question. There is no doubt it can be of interest for many readers of the Socio-Economic Review, since it triggers a discussion between political economy and the financialization of everyday life studies. In addition, we want to stress that the writing is exceptionally clear and easy to follow.

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