U of T Celebrates

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Michael Stepner

Michael Stepner wins 2022 John Charles Polanyi Prize in economic science

January 17, 2023

Michael Stepner, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Science’s department of economics, is the winner of the prestigious 2022 John Charles Polanyi Prize for his contributions to economic science.

The Polanyi Prize is awarded each year to as many as five researchers from an Ontario university in the early stages of their career. Given by the Ontario Council of Universities, it is named in honour of John Polanyi, a University Professor Emeritus in the department of chemistry and recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize.

Stepner, who is also research principal at Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights lab, is an expert on the relationship between health and economic inequality. By analyzing available data, he focuses on how public policy can improve the health and financial security of low-income populations.

Stepner is one of three researchers from the Faculty of Arts & Science recognized with the prize in a year in which U of T faculty took home all five awards.

The award is special, says Melanie Woodin, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science, “because it recognizes individuals who are in the early stages of their careers, meaning we will be seeing exciting work from them for years to come.”

Read the Faculty of Arts & Science story