John Dunlop Undergraduate Thesis Prize in Business and Government

The John Dunlop Thesis Prize in Business and Government is an annual award for Harvard undergraduates, provided by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at Harvard Kennedy School.

Established in 2007, the award is given to the Harvard College graduating senior who writes the best thesis on a challenging public policy issue at the interface of business and government. Papers that examine the business-government interface with respect to regulation, corporate responsibility, energy, the environment, health care, education, technology, and human rights are particularly encouraged, however papers on other topics will also be considered. A $2000 prize is provided to the winning entry.

To be considered for the 2025 John Dunlop Thesis Prize, please fill out this application. The deadline is May 22, 2025 at 12 noon; Entries must be submitted as PDFs to

Dunlop 2.jpgThe prize is named after John T. Dunlop, the Lamont University Professor Emeritus, a widely respected labor economist who served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1969 to 1973. An adviser to many U.S. presidents, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dunlop was secretary of labor under Gerald Ford, serving from March 1975 to January 1976. In addition to serving as secretary of labor, Dunlop held many other government posts, including: director of the Cost of Living Council, (1973-74), chairman of the Construction Industry Stabilization Committee (1993-95), chair of the Massachusetts Joint Labor- Management Committee for Municipal Police and Firefighters (1977-2003) and Chair of the Commission on Migratory Farm Labor (1984-2003). Dunlop served as the second director of the Center for Business and Government from 1987 to 1991. The Center, renamed in 2005 as the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, focuses on policy issues at the intersection of business and government. Dunlop died in 2003.







Additionally, M-RCBG awarded one honorable mentions in 2022:


Additionally, M-RCBG awarded three honorable mentions in 2021. They included:


Laura Nicolae with her thesis

Additionally, M-RCBG awarded five honorable mentions in 2020. They included:

Dhruv Gupta, Bike-Sharing is Transit: Building Tools to Plan and Optimize Bike-Sharing Networks

George Hu, US Patents and Global Performance: Analyzing the Impact of Local Patent Protection on Firms' International Operations

Pedro Farias, Riding with Charlie: Public Transportation Policy and Its Impact on Business and Road Safety in Massachusetts

Divya Arya, Does Betting on Currencies Make Them Riskier? The Carry Trade and Endogenous Risk

Luis Viceira, Moral Values and Corporate Social Responsibility              


2019 John Dunlop Undergraduate Thesis Prize winners Jack Smith (left) and Jacqueline Chen (right) with M-RCBG Co-Director John Haigh (center).
2019 John Dunlop Undergraduate Thesis Prize winners Jack Smith (left) and Jacqueline Chen (right) with M-RCBG Co-Director John Haigh (center).

Additionally, M-RCBG awarded six honorable mentions in 2019. They included:

Victor C. Agbafe, The Connection Between State Policies and Health Outcomes: How State Unemployment Insurance Generosity Affects Type II Diabetes Incidence and Outcomes

Ryan Davis, Fungibility of In-Kind Transfers: Evidence from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Christina Neckermann, The End of Bilateralism in Europe? An Interest-Based Account of Franco-German Divergence in the Construction of the European Banking Union

Ben Porter, Pentagon Pork: Evidence of Quid-Pro-Quo Defense Spending from Federal Procurement Contracts

Christina Qiu, Administrative Assistance and the Labor Integration of Migrant Roma Informal Settlement Residents: Results from the MOUS Program in Grenoble

Nina Vendhan, The Road Back to Nalanda: The Impact of India’s Right to Education Act on Government Schools and a Market Design Proposal for Its Quota Admissions









  • Jackson Salovaara, Coal to Natural Gas Fuel Switching and CO2 Emissions Reduction
  • Honorable mention: Samuel Barr, Deliberative Democracy and Corporate Political Advertising


  • Daniel Eric Herz-Roiphe, Is the Price Right? Reexamining the Relationship Between Age and the Value of Statistical Life
  • Honorable mention: Colin Motley, The Commercial Paper Funding Facility: Impact and What It Tells US about the Crisis in Commercial Paper from 2007-2009


  • Michael Sperling, The Unintended Consequences of Government Interventions in the Domestic Ethanol Market
  • Honorable mention: David R. Porter, Making Trade Fair: The Negotiation and Implementation of NAFTA Chapter 20


  • Pablo M. Tsutsumi, Domestic Intentions, International Repercussions: An Empirical Study on the Impact of SOX on Latin American ADRs
  • Honorable mention: Elina Tetelbaum, A Sobering Look at How Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws Affect Traffic Fatalities