Jack Knetsch Award

The Jack Knetsch Award recognizes the best essay in the Economics Honours Thesis course (ECON 499W). This award is named after emeritus professor Jack Knetsch, who joined Simon Fraser University at its inception and retired in 2000.

Current winner

Andrew Hicks

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Andrew Hicks is a recent graduate of SFU with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours majoring in Economics. Since stumbling onto Economics in his third year, Andrew has grown increasingly fascinated in the subject and its practical policy applications. Aside from his studies, he has developed his understanding of economic research through several research projects as a research assistant to Dr. Kevin Schnepel, and through his honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Shih En Lu, both of whom he is grateful to. His thesis investigates the causal effect of basic income on recipients’ willingness to take risk based on evidence from the 1970s Manitoba negative income tax experiment. 

Andrew will be pursuing his MA at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics this Fall and intends to pursue a career in economic policy research. His research interests include applied microeconomics, causal inference, and development economics. Andrew would like to thank his family for their constant support, and the professors in SFU’s honours Economics program for their advice and clever insight during his undergraduate studies.

Past winners

Hamza Abdelrahman is celebrating the completion of his honours bachelor of arts degree in economics after four years filled with high academic achievements and community engagement. Since joining SFU in 2016 as a Major Entrance Scholarship recipient, he has completed three co-op work terms and volunteered with multiple groups on campus. He has received a number of awards, including the Glenn Berg Award for academic excellence in economics; the Big Data Research Award; the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award; and the Robert C. Brown Award for outstanding leadership and academic performance. For his honours thesis, Hamza looked at the causal effect of the disbursement of social assistance payments on drug crimes and alcohol sales in Vancouver, BC. He plans on completing graduate studies in economics and has set his career sights on becoming the prime minister of his home country, Jordan.

Jordan Hutchings is a recent honors economics graduate from SFU. He was recruited from Ontario to come play golf on the varsity men’s golf team by the late John Buchanan in 2014. It wasn’t until after taking the Principals of Microeconomics that Jordan learned he had a deep interest in studying economics. Alongside playing on the SFU golf team, Jordan’s main focuses included working as a research assistant for Professor Hendrik Wolff and writing his honours thesis that quantified the impact Yelp ratings have on restaurants. Jordan is currently working at the Bank of Canada within the Canadian Economic Analysis division, and he will be pursuing his M.A. at the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia this fall. His research interests include applied microeconomics, econometrics and environmental economics. Jordan would like to thank his professors, especially his thesis supervisor Professor Shih En Lu, for their constant support throughout his undergraduate experience.