George Katona Economic Behavior Research Award Fund



George Katona

George Katona

The George Katona Research Award Fund in Economic Behavior was established to support emerging scholars who are interested in how economic expectations shape consumer behavior and the macroeconomy.

George Katona was a founder of behavioral economics and a pioneer in the empirical measurement of expectations. His interest spanned from income, employment and inflation expectations to consumers’ reactions to fiscal and monetary policies. He started the Surveys of Consumers which has collected data on these topics since 1946.

The Katona Fund provides small research awards to emerging scholars in the social sciences conducting empirically grounded economic research in the tradition of George Katona.  Priority will be given to research using the Surveys of Consumers database or similar data from the more than 60 other countries that conduct consumer surveys and to work on the development and application of expectational measures. The award is designed to jumpstart the dissertation process by providing flexible support early in candidacy.  Learn more about the SCA at

Feiya Shao with her dog

Feiya Shao, 2015 Katona Scholar. Read her profile. Photo courtesy of Feiya Shao.

For more information on Katona’s research on how consumers influenced cyclical developments in the economy, go to

The competition is open to doctoral candidates at the University of Michigan.

The Katona Award will connect emerging scholars with the Institute for Social Research and the Survey Research Center’s deep and rich history in the study of economic and social behavior.


The Katona Research Award Fund will provide an award of up to $8,000 to a senior graduate student from the University of Michigan.

Form and Scope of Award

The Katona Award will be $8,000, which may be spent in the following ways:

  • Travel (related to data collection or academic collaborations)
  • Acquiring datasets
  • Hiring an assistant
  • Salary/stipend

Awards are intended for use within one year, but may be extended upon request for an additional six months.


Applicants must be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy in a degree granting program at the University of Michigan by the time the award is made.

Application Procedures

Applications should include: (application should use 12 point font and 1.5 spacing)

  • A cover page using this format.
  • A three-page description of the proposed activity that includes
    1. A justification for how the project is inspired by George Katona’s work and meets the goals of the Fund,
    2. Sufficient detail about the hypotheses and design with special attention paid to the value of using Surveys of Consumers related data or to measures related to expectations,
    3. Statement of deliverables.
  • One-page budget with description of the proposed uses of the funding and how these uses will assist in meeting the project goals
  • A letter of nomination from your advisor
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Current U-M Transcript

Applications are accepted in electronic format. Please submit your application in as few files as possible in Portable Document Format (pdf), and named with the applicant’s last name (e.g., Smith-Juster App.pdf). Applications and questions about the award should be sent to Jennifer Puckett ( Note, letters of recommendation may be sent directly by the writer in either electronic or hard copy format.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for submission is the last Friday in February at 4:00 p.m. Final decisions will be made by March 31st, and funds will be available as early as May 1st.

Katona Award Recipients

Catalina Franco and Meera Mahadevan, 2016 – Ph.D. Candidates in Economics, University of Michigan
Bryan Stuart, 2016 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan
Feiya Shao, 2015 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan
Isaac Sorkin and Bryan Stuart, 2015 – Ph.D. Candidates in Economics, University of Michigan
Tong Yob Nam, 2014 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan
Johannes Norling, 2014 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan
Peter Hudomiet, 2013 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan
Nitya Pandalai Nayar, 2013 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan