ULI/Journal of Economic Geography Prize

The ULI UK Academic prize is awarded in partnership with The Journal of Economic Geography (JOEG) and Oxford University Press.

ULI/Journal of Economic Geography Prize


In an effort to forge collaborative links between the commercial and academic worlds, the Urban Land Institute Prize/Journal of Economic Geography (JOEG) prize will be awarded annually to the author(s) of the best JOEG paper published online in the previous calendar year.

The aims of the Journal are to redefine and reinvigorate the intersection between economics and geography, and to provide a world-class journal in the field. The journal is steered by a distinguished team of Editors and an Editorial Board, drawn equally from the two disciplines. It publishes original academic research and discussion of the highest scholarly standard in the field of ‘economic geography’ broadly defined.


To be eligible for the prize, the paper should be on a topic related to a broadly defined urban agenda including:

Design and sustainability
The relationship between cities
Space and innovation
Spatial analysis
Urban economics
Land or real estate markets

Prize and Jury Details

The prize is £5,000. The prize-winning paper is decided by a committee comprising two members of the JOEG Advisory Board and one member nominated by the ULI. The prize will be awarded to the best JOEG paper published online in the previous year. Submitted papers are refereed, and are evaluated on the basis of their creativity, quality of scholarship, and contribution to advancing understanding of the geographic nature of economic systems and global economic change.

2016 Winner

The Economic Value of Local Social Networks by Tom Kemeny, Southampton University and Maryann Feldman, Frank Ethridge, and Ted Zoller, University of North Carolina.

The jurors described the paper as “an innovative and very original paper, notable for its theoretical sophistication, its unique data and the scope of its empirical analysis. It promises to set the scene for a long time to come”.

2016 Jury

  • Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University, USA
  • Professor Paul Cheshire CBE, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics, UK
  • Anders Malmberg, Deputy Vice-chancellor and Professor, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Sweden

2015 Winner

‘Cities and Product Variety: Evidence from Restaurants’ by Professor Nathan Schiff, School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

Professor Schiff’s winning paper on ‘Cities and product variety: evidence from restaurants’ was commended by the award committee as remarkable ‘for its theoretical sophistication and scope of empirical analysis, and one that promises to set the scene for a decade to come.’

2015 Jury

  • Gordon Clark, University of Oxford, UK
  • Masahisa Fujita, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Neil Wrigley, University of Southampton, UK
  • Paul Cheshire, London School of Economics, UK

2014 Winner

Is the Sky the Limit? High-rise Buildings and Office Rents by Hans R. A. Koster, Jos van Ommeren and Piet Rietveld

The winning paper explores the rent premium on offices in taller buildings.

The independent jury noted that “the paper contributes new insights into two very important urban phenomena – how agglomeration economies arise and the way in which land markets condition physical patterns of urban development.”