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 macro economy.

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

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 with the following information  (See attached format)
  • A three-page with description of the proposed activity with:
    • A justification for how the project is inspired by George Katona’s work and meets the goals of the Fund
    • Sufficient detail about hypotheses and design with special attention paid to the value of using SCA related data or to measures related to expectations
    • Statement of deliverables (e.g. dissertation chapter, conference paper, etc.)
    • One page budget with a description of the proposed uses for the money and how these uses will assist in meeting the projects goals
    • A letter of nomination from your advisor
    • An up-to-date UM transcript
    • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae

Applications are accepted in both electronic and hard copy format.  Send electronic applications to Jennifer Puckett in pdf. Hard copy applications should be sent to or dropped off at 6065 ISR (Campus Mail 1248). Note, letters of recommendation may be sent directly by the recommender in either electronic or hard copy format.

For questions about the application, please contact Patrick Shields at or 764.8369.

Application Deadlines:  

Applications are due at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2016. The recipient will be notified by March 31, 2016.

Katona Award Recipients

Feiya Shao, 2015 – Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan
Isaac Sorkin & Bryan Stuart, – 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