Lawrence M v D Schloss Economics Prize

2014 Recipients: Douglas N. Harris and Sean Higgins

Mr. Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss, 1976 cum laude graduate from Tulane University, now President of Angelo, Gordon & Co., an alternative investment manager, and member of its executive committee, has endowed a Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics. “The Schloss Prize is to be offered to outstanding full professors, associate professors, or assistant professors, or graduate or undergraduate students, who do outstanding work in the Department of Economics.”

Mr. Schloss has had a distinguished career in the financial services industry. Following his 1976 graduation from Tulane, he earned an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He then joined Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in 1978 as an investment banker, and during his 22 years at DLJ rose to become Chairman of DLJ's Merchant Banking Division. Upon the acquisition of DLJ by Credit Suisse in 2000, he became the Global Head of CSFB Private Equity, its $32 billion alternative asset investment management business. In 2004, he founded and became Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Diamond Castle Holdings, a private equity firm. In 2010 he was appointed New York City's Deputy Comptroller for Pensions and the Chief Investment Officer and Trustee of the New York City pension funds, whose assets grew from $100 billion to $145 billion under his leadership. He was named 2012 CIO of The Year - Large Public Pension Funds by Institutional Investor.

In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees of Tulane University, Mr. Schloss is a member of the New York Police and Fire Widows' Fund and the Children's Benefit Fund, and he has served on the boards of directors of numerous public and private companies.

There are two 2014 recipients of the Schloss Prize. Douglas N. Harris is the faculty recipient of the Schloss Prize for Excellence in Research. Sean Higgins is the graduate student recipient of the Schloss Prize for Excellence in Research.

Douglas N. Harris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, and he is also the University Endowed Chair in Public Education and the Director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University and joined the Tulane faculty in 2012. Previously, Doug worked at the Economic Policy Institute, Florida State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Schloss 2014
Douglas N. Harris

Doug’s research examines the economics of education, with a focus on two questions: How can we measure and improve the productivity of teachers, and how can we increase the rate of college entry and graduation?

In the last year, Doug has had several articles and books published or accepted for publication, including:

• “Value-added models and the measurement of teacher productivity,” in Economics of Education Review
• “How teacher evaluation methods matter for accountability: A comparative analysis of teacher ratings by principals and teacher,” in American Educational Research Journal
• “The impact of teacher value-added on educational practice and on the teaching profession,” in Educational Researcher
• “Randomized control trials,” in Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance
• “Is traditional college financial aid too little, too late to help youth succeed in college? An introduction to The Degree Project promise scholarship experiment,” in New Directions in Youth Development
How might we use multiple measures for teacher accountability? (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)
Does value-added work better in elementary versus secondary schools? (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)
• “Applying cost-effectiveness analysis in higher education," in Stretching the Higher Education Dollar (American Enterprise Institute)
• “The accidental revolution: Teacher accountability, value added, and the restructuring of the American school system,” in The Infrastructure of Accountability (Harvard Education Press)

Doug has also been very successful in generating external support for his research. Just in the last year, he has received grants totaling over $6 million from:

• U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, $3 million (Testing the Promise: A Randomized Trial of a Promise College Scholarship for Urban Public School Students)
• The Arnold Foundation, $3 million
• The Smith Richardson Foundation, $150,000.

More details on Doug’s activities can be found on his Tulane website, at See also the website for the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, for which Doug is the Director, at

Sean Higgins is a graduate student in the Department of Economics, completing his third year in the Department’s doctoral program. He received a B.S. in economics (summa cum laude) from Tulane University in 2011.

Schloss 2014
Sean Higgins

Even with the demands of coursework and a dissertation, Sean has made outstanding research contributions to the Department of Economics. He has already published several articles and book chapters, much of it in collaboration with his dissertation advisor Professor Nora Lustig, Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics at Tulane University. This research includes:

• “The effects of Brazil’s taxation and social spending on the distribution of household income," in Public Finance Review
• “The impact of Bolsa Familia on poverty: Does Brazil’s conditional cash transfer program have a rural bias?” in Journal of Politics and Society
• “Commitment to Equity: A diagnostic framework to assess governments’ fiscal policy,” in Inequality in Asia and the Pacific (Routledge).

He is also a co-principal investigator with Nora Lustig on a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant of $581,000, studying “The Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty in Low-income Countries”; he has received a Fulbright Program Public Policy Initiative Grant to study in Mexico; and he has earned several School of Liberal Arts graduate fellowships.

The Department of Economics is proud of Doug’s and Sean’s accomplishments. The Department’s selection committee (Alan Barreca, Jon Pritchett, and James Alm) was unanimous in recommending that they be the 2014 joint recipients of the Lawrence M. v. D. Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics.

The Department of Economics is grateful to Mr. Schloss for his generous and ongoing support, which has made possible the recognition of Doug’s and Sean’s accomplishments. Previous Schloss Prize winners are Marco Castaneda (2009), Jay Shimshack (2010), Stefano Barbieri (2011), Keith Finlay (2012), Douglas Nelson (2012), Alan Barreca (2013), and Jon Pritchett (2013).

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