UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Tor Tolhurst Wins Western Agricultural Economics Association Outstanding Graduate Paper Award

July 19, 2019

ARE PhD Candidate Tor Tolhurst won the WAEA Outstanding Graduate Paper Award for his paper, "Model-Free Bubble Detection of a Speculative Asset Bubble: Evidence from the World Market for Superstar Wines." He received the award at the 2019 WAEA Annual Meetings in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on July 2. The judging committee considers the importance of the problem or subject, significance of the results, quality of the work, and effectiveness of reporting.

Mr. Tolhurst examined a unique event that occurred between 2009 and 2011 in the world market for superstar Bordeaux wines. The price of one wine, Lafite, increased by a factor nearly ten, while prices of its nearly identical peers (on multiple dimensions) increased by a mere factor of five. Using a concentration inequality to bound the fundamental relationship between assets and to find the first direct evidence of a bubble that is independent of a structural valuation model is the focus of his research. Tor Tolhurst stated that he “was intrigued by the anomalous nature of the event---bubbles are a rare but important economic phenomena---and the possibility that its unique circumstances could alleviate longstanding measurement issues, which have plagued evidence of bubbles in real world markets.”

The WAEA annually presents awards to recognize excellence in the profession. Tor Tolhurst joins a select group of UCD colleagues who have been recognized for their contributions. They include Izaac Ornelas, who won the 2019 Outstanding Senior Award, as well as the following award-winners from past years:

  • 2017 John Bovay and Julian M. Alston - JARE Outstanding Journal Article Award;
    Linda Tran Vo – Outstanding Senior Award
  • 2016 Yvette Harper – Outstanding Senior Award
  • 2015 Emily M. Costa – Outstanding Senior Award
  • 2014 Chenguang Li and Richard J. Sexton - JARE Outstanding Journal Article Award;
    Zoe T. Plakias - Graduate Travel Grant Recipient;
    Adrienne Bradley - Outstanding Senior Award
  • 2013 Abigail Okrent and Julian Alston - Outstanding Published Research Award;
    Richard Sexton – Distinguished Scholar Award;
    Stephanie Sapin – Outstanding Senior Award
  • 2012 Rachael E. Goodhue and Richard J. Sexton - Outstanding Published Research Award
  • 2011 Julian Alston – Outstanding Published Research Award
  • 2010 Christopher Joonhee Rue - Outstanding MS Thesis Award
  • 2007 Steven Blank and Richard Howitt - Distinguished Scholar Award
  • 2005 Steven Blank - Outstanding Extension Program
  • 2004 Warren E. Johnston and Alex F. McCalla - Distinguished Scholar Award
  • 2003 Harold O. Carter - Distinguished Scholar Award


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