Raymond Vernon Memorial Award


About the Award:

APPAM created the Raymond Vernon Memorial award in 1985. All funding for the award comes from a special grant to APPAM from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Initially called the Vernon Prize, the title was amended to add "Memorial" after Raymond Vernon died in August 1999. Among his many lifetime accomplishments, Vernon contributed to the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after World War II, led the development team for the Peanut M&M (tm), was among the first to conduct quantitative analyses of stock markets using computers, served on the faculty of the Harvard University Business School and the Kennedy School of Government, and was the founding editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM).
APPAM seeks to recognize excellence in research by annually selecting a research paper published in the current volume of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management to receive the Vernon Memorial Prize. Any research article accepted for publication in the current volume of the journal is eligible for the award.
The author(s) of the winning article share a cash award in the amount of $1,000 in addition to a certificate, recognition at the annual APPAM Fall Research Conference, and recognition in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. A separate grant covering travel costs to the Fall Research Conference also will be provided to one author.
The journal's editorial office and current editor are in charge of the selection process, including the appointment of three persons to serve as the prize selection committee. The committee reviews all research articles that are scheduled for publication in the current volume of the journal.

About the Selected 2019 Article:

JPAM_curlPublished in the Fall 2019 Issue of JPAM, The Effects of Accountability Incentives in Early Childhood Education was coauthored by Daphna Bassok of The University of Virginia, Thomas S. Dee of Stanford University, and Scott Latham of Princeton University.

In light of the strong evidence that high-quality early child education (ECE) programs have the potential to narrow achievement gaps and improve children’s life trajectories, policymakers have increasingly focused their efforts on improving the quality of ECE programs at scale. A central component of these efforts has been a policy innovation called Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) that has been adopted by nearly all U.S. states. QRIS are accountability systems that seek to drive, at scale, improvements in ECE quality. Despite their emergence as one of the most important and widely used policy lever, there had been no investigation of the impact of QRIS on quality and performance measures of ECE programs.

Bassok, Dee, and Latham (2019) provide the first empirical evidence on the impact of these programs using data from North Carolina, a state with a mature QRIS. In a regression discontinuity design, the authors examine how assignment to a lower quality rating influenced subsequent outcomes of ECE programs. They find that programs responded to a lower quality rating with comparative performance gains, including improvement on a multi-faceted measure of classroom quality. Programs assigned to a lower star rating also experienced enrollment declines, which is consistent with the hypothesis that parents responded to information about program quality by selectively enrolling away from programs with lower ratings. These effects were concentrated among programs that faced higher levels of competition from nearby providers. Taken together, this study provides the first causally credible evidence on the key incentive mechanisms by which QRIS is expected to improve the quality of early childhood programs.

The 2019 selection committee was comprised of Tom Dee (Stanford) (chair) along with Stephen Bell (Westat), Sanya Carley (Indiana), and Laura Wherry (UCLA). Tom Dee is a co-author in the paper that won the award, but he excused himself from rating of his paper.

This award will be presented during the Membership and Awards Breakfast on Friday, November 8, at the 2019 Fall Research Conference in Denver, Colorado. 

Past Recipients of the Vernon Memorial Award:

2018 Vernon Prize:
Daniel Gubits, Marybeth Shinn, Michelle Wood, Scott Brown, Samuel Dastrup and Stephen Bell. "What Inteventions Work Best for Families Who Experience Homelessness? Impact Estimates from the Family Options Study"
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 37, No. 4, 2018
Prize Committee: Dylan Conger (George Washington University, chair), Dave Marcotte (American University), Scott Allard (University of Washington), and Nicolas Ziebarth (Cornell University)

2017 Vernon Prize:
Lauren Jones and Nicolas R. Ziebarth. "U.S. Child Safety Seat Laws: Are They Effective and Who Complies?",
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 36, No. 3, 2017
Prize Committee: Dave Marcotte (American University, chair), Susan Dynarski (Michigan), Nicole Maestas (Harvard), Ingrid Gould Ellen (NYU) and Diane Schanzenbach (Northwestern, Brookings)

2016 Vernon Prize:
Kerri Raissian. "Hold Your Fire: Did the 1996 Federal Gun Control Act Expansion Reduce Domestic Homicides?",
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 35, No. 1, 2016
Prize Committee: Sarah Hamersma (Syracuse University), Dave Marcotte (American University), Peter Mueser (University of Missouri), and Jodi Sandfort (University of Minnesota)

2015 Vernon Prize:
Thomas Dee and James Wyckoff. "Incentives, Selection and Teacher Performance: Evidence from IMPACT",
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 34, No. 2, 2015
Prize Committee: Ingrid Gould Ellen (Chair), John MacDonald, Harold Pollack, and Jenny Schuetz

2014 Vernon Prize:
Tal Gross, Jeanne Lafortune, and Corinne Low. "What Happens the Morning After? The Costs and Benefits of Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception", Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 33, No. 1, 2014
Prize Committee: Jacob Vigdor (Chair), Diane Schanzenback, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Daniel T. Lichter

2013 Vernon Prize:
Susan Dynarski, Joshua Hyman, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Degree Attainment and Degree Completion", Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 32, No. 4, 2013.
Prize Committee: Dylan Conger, Jacob Vigdor, Jason Fletcher, and Robert Wood

2012 Vernon Prize:
Robert G. Wood, Sheena McConnell, Quinn Moore, Andrew Clarkwest, and JoAnn Hsueh. "The Effects of Building Strong Families: A Healthy Marriage and Relationship Skills Education Program for Unmarried Parents", Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 31, No. 2, 2012.

2011 Vernon Prize:
Silvie Colman and Ted Joyce. "Regulating Abortion: Impact on Patients and Providers in Texas", Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 30, No. 4, 2011.
Prize Committee: Jane Waldfogel (Chair), Jens Ludwig, Richard Murnane, Kristin Seefeldt
2010 Vernon Prize:
Jennifer L. Steele, Richard J. Murnane, and John B. Willett. "Do Financial Incentives Help Low-Performing Schools Attract and Keep Academically Talented Teachers? Evidence from California."  JPAM Volume 29, No. 3.  
Prize Committee: Carolyn Hill, Chair, Brian Jacob, Ashlyn Aiko Nelson, Jane Waldfogel
2009 Vernon Prize:
Ronald Mincy, Jennifer Hill, and Marilyn Sinkewicz. "Marriage: Cause or Mere Indicator of Future Earning Growth?", Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 28, No. 3: 417 - 439. 2009.
Prize Committee: Burt Barnow, Lori Bennear, Susan Yackee, Vivian Wong
2008 Vernon Prize:
Philip J. Cook, Robert MacCoun, Clara Muschkin and Jacob Vigdor. "The Negative Impacts of Starting Middle School in Sixth Grade", Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 27, No. 1: 104 - 121. 2008.
Prize Committee: Burt Barnow, Trevor Brown, Leonard Lopoo, Katherine O'Regan
2007 Vernon Prize:
Mark G. Duggan and Melissa Schettini Kearney. "The Impact of Child SSI Enrollment on Household Outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 26, No. 4: 861 - 885. 2007.
Prize Committee: Carolyn Heinrich, Leonard Lopoo, Steven Raphael, Kathleen Ziol-Guest
2006 Vernon Prize:
Ioan Voicu and Ingrid Gould Ellen. "Nonprofit Housing and Neighborhood Spillovers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 25, No. 1: 31 - 52. 2006.
Prize Committee: Robert Plotnick, Carolyn Heinrich, Leanna Stiefel
2005 Vernon Prize:
William Spelman. "Jobs or Jails? The Crime Drop in Texas," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 24, No. 1: 133 - 165. 2005.
Prize Committee: Lawrence Mead, William Gormley, Robert Plotnick
2004 Vernon Prize:
Charles T. Clotfelter, Helen F. Ladd, Jacob L. Vigdor, and Roger Aliaga Diaz. "Do School Accountability Systems Make it More Difficult for Low-Performing Schools to Attract and Retain High-Quality Teachers?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 23, No. 2: 251 - 271. 2004.
Prize Committee: Jens Ludwig, Peter May, Richard Murnane
2003 Vernon Prize:
Howard Bloom, Carolyn Hill, and James Riccio. "Linking Program Implementation and Effectiveness: Lessons from a Pooled Sample of Welfare-to-Work Experiments," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 22, No. 4: 551 - 575. 2003.
Prize Committee: Helen F. Ladd, Winston Harrington, Timothy Smeeding
2002 Vernon Prize:
Jennifer Hill, Jane Waldfogel, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. "Assessing the Differential Effects of High Quality Child Care: A New Approach for Exploiting Post-Treatment Variables," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 21, No. 4: 601 - 627. 2002.|
Prize Committee: Arleen Leibowitz, Howard Margolis, David Weimer
2001 Vernon Prize:
Michael J. G. van Eeten. "Recasting Intractable Policy Issues: The Wider Implications of the Netherlands Civil Aviation Controversy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 20, No. 3: 391 - 414. 2001.
Prize Committee: Lee S. Friedman, Donald F. Kettl, Katherine O'Regan
2000 Vernon Prize:
Winston Harrington, Richard D. Morgenstern, Peter Nelson. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 19, No. 2: 297 - 322. 2000.
Prize Committee: John Mendeloff, Gary Burtless, Jack Nagel
1999 Vernon Prize:
Nancy Shulock. "The Paradox of Policy Analysis: If it is Not Used, Why do We Produce So Much of it?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 18, No. 2: 226 - 244. 1999.
Prize Committee: Mary Bryna Sanger, John Hird, Eric A. Hanushek
1998 Vernon Prize:
Marcia K. Meyers, Bonnie Glaser, and Karin Mac Donald. "On the Front Lines of Welfare Delivery: Are Workers Implementing Policy Reforms?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 17, No. 1: 1 - 22. 1998.
Prize Committee: Peter Reuter, William Gorham, Peter May
1997 Vernon Prize:
Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig. "Weighing the Burden of ‘Acting White’: Are There Race Differences in Attitudes Toward Education?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 16, No. 2: 256 - 278. 1997.
Prize Committee: Raymond Vernon, Irwin Feller, Laurence E. Lynn Jr.
1996 Vernon Prize:
Bruno S. Frey and Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "Fair Sitting Procedures: An Empirical Analysis of Their Importance and Characteristics," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 15, No. 3: 353 - 376. 1996.
Prize Committee: Philip J. Cook, John Brandl, David Weimer
1995 Vernon Prize:
James T Hamilton. "Testing for Environmental Racism: Prejudice, Profits, Political Power?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 14, No. 1: 107 -132. 1995.
Prize Committee: Irwin Feller, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Janet A. Weiss
1994 Vernon Prize:
Laurence E. Lynn, Jr. "Public Management Research: The Triumph of Art Over Science," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 13, No. 2: 231 - 259. 1994.
Prize Committee: John M. Mendeloff, Eric A. Hanushek, Donald F. Kettl
1993 Vernon Prize:
Robert S. Chirinko and Edward P. Harper, Jr. "Buckle Up or Slow Down? New Estimates of Offsetting Behavior and Their Implications for Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 12, No. 2:270 - 296. 1993.
Prize Committee: Susan Rose-Ackerman, Donna R. Leff, Samuel L. Myers, Jr.
1992 Vernon Prize:
Sung Deuk Hahm, Mark S. Kamlet, David C. Mowery, and Tsai-Tsu Su. "The Influence of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act on Federal Budgetary Outcomes, 1986 - 1989," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 11, No. 2: 207 - 234. 1992.
Prize Committee: Otto A. Davis, Phillip J. Cook, John Mendeloff
1991 Vernon Prize:
Frederick W. Mayer. "Domestic Politics and the Strategy of International Trade," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 10, No. 2: 222 - 246. 1991.
Prize Committee: Edward M. Gramlich, Mary Bryna Sanger, Laurence E. Lynn, Jr.
1990 Vernon Prize:
William N. Trumbull. "Who has Standing in Cost-Benefit Analysis?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 9, No. 2: 201 - 218. 1990.
Prize Committee: Lucian Pugliaresi, John Brandl, William Gorham
1989 Vernon Prize:
Richard V. Burkhauser and T. Aldrich Finegan. "The Minimum Wage and the Poor: The End of a Relationship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 8, No. 1: 53 - 71. 1989.
Prize Committee: Susan Rose-Ackerman, Martin A. Levin, John Mendeloff
1988 Vernon Prize:
Dani Rodrick and Richard Zeckhauser. "The Dilemma of Government Responsiveness," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 7, No. 4: 601 - 620. 1988.
Prize Committee: Sidney Weintraub, Otto A. Davis, Thomas C. Schelling
1987 Vernon Prize:
Edward M. Gramlich. "Cooperation and Competition in Public Welfare Policies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 6, No. 3: 417 - 431. 1987.
1986 Vernon Prize:
Dale Whittington and Duncan MacRae, Jr. "The Issue of Standing in Cost-Benefit Analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 5, No. 4: 665 - 682. 1986.
1985 Vernon Prize:
Robert D. Behn. "Cutback Budgeting," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 4, No. 2: 155 - 177. 1985.


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