Cortes Wins Prestigious Musgrave Prize

January 28, 2015

Dean Ryan Crocker congratulates Dr. Kalena Cortes on the 2014 Musgrave Prize.

Dr. Kalena Cortes, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Service and Administration at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, has won the 2014 Richard A. Musgrave Prize for her paper “Ranking Up by Moving Out: The Effect of the Texas Top 10% Plan on Property Values.”

The Musgrave Prize is awarded each year for the best article published in the National Tax Journal (NTJ). The winners are selected by NTJ Editorial Advisory Board members, who choose the article that best exemplifies the attributes of Richard Musgrave’s research—strong analytical underpinnings, rigorous argument buttressed by solid empirical evidence, respect for the importance of historical and institutional factors, and relevance for public policy.

Dr. Cortes received a plaque at the National Tax Association’s 107th Annual Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in November 2014. She joins previous recipients, including Jonathan Gruber from MIT; Richard V. Burkhauser, Cornell University; Harvey Rosen, Princeton University; Roger Gordon, University of California, San Diego; and William D. Duncombe and John Yinger from Syracuse University.

Dr. Cortes earned her PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and was formerly at the School of Education at Syracuse University. She is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a private independent economic research institute focused on the analysis of global labor markets. Dr. Arnie Vedlitz, executive associate dean, congratulated Dr. Cortes on this significant award. 

“Winning the Musgrave Prize is a particular honor, and recognizes Dr. Cortes’ outstanding scholarship and her reputation in her field,” he said. “This kind of recognition further adds to the Bush School’s reputation for academic excellence.”

All winners of the Musgrave Prize are listed in the awards section of each issue of the NTJ and on the National Tax Association’s National Tax Journal website, at


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