The Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) has presented this year’s Heinz König Young Scholar Award to two young researchers. The recipients of the award were Jiekai Zhang from the Centre de Recherche en Économie et en Statistiques (CREST) at the École Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Économique (ENSAE) ParisTech and Bernhard Kasberger from the University of Vienna. Jiekai Zhang was awarded the prize by ZEW in recognition of her research into the effects of regulated TV advertising for both TV viewers and advertisers while Bernhard Kasberger was recognised for his work on the efficiency of mobile communications markets following frequency auctions.

ZEW Research Group Heads Kai Hüschelrath (l.) and Vitali Gretschko (r.) with the winners Jiekai Zhang and Bernhard Kasberger.
ZEW Research Group Heads Kai Hüschelrath (l.) and Vitali Gretschko (r.) with the winners Jiekai Zhang and Bernhard Kasberger.

The Heinz König Young Scholar Award of ZEW, which is awarded annually, comes with an endowment of 5,000 euros and includes the opportunity to spend an extended research visit at ZEW. The Heinz König Young Scholar Award 2017 was financed by MLP AG. Due to this year's selection of two winners, the endowment was shared equally between Jiekai Zhang and Bernhard Kasberger. The prize was awarded at the closing ceremony for the 19th ZEW Summer Workshop for Young Economists by Professor Kai Hüschelrath, head of the ZEW Research Group “Competition and Regulation” and Professor Vitali Gretschko, head of the ZEW Research Group “Market Design”.

Jiekai Zhang’s research findings suggest that it is not necessary to regulate the sheer amount of advertising in a competitive market given that the television sector has a bilateral market structure with advertisers and viewers influencing each other in their demand patterns. If, however, TV networks coordinate the broadcast times for advertisements amongst themselves – which is forbidden – appropriate regulation can in turn create value added for viewers. “Jiekai Zhang’s research is so outstanding because the empirical literature on competition and regulation in bilateral markets has until now been rather scant,” said Kai Hüschelrath, explaining the jury’s decision to award Zhang the prize.

Outstanding research on TV advertisement quantities and frequency auctions

Bernhard Kasberger’s research focuses on the fact that, during frequency auctions in mobile communications markets, bids on just the number of frequencies for a single bidder are possible, but bids on the final allocation of these frequencies among all bidders are not. This often prevents an efficient allocation of frequencies in this downstream market. “Bernhard Kasberger has done an exemplary job of identifying the weaknesses in the most common auction formats and has laid the groundwork for future auctions to be set up in such a way that they lead to greater welfare gains overall,” said Vitali Gretschko, explaining the jury’s decision.

The Heinz König Young Scholar Award is named after the late founding director of ZEW, Professor Heinz König, who died in 2002. The award recognises excellent empirical research papers by up-and-coming researchers.In keeping with Heinz König’s legacy, ZEW has no intention of adding yet another award to the multitude of prizes for established researchers, but instead awards the Heinz König Young Scholar Award to promote talented economists in the early stages of their career.

The central topics up for discussion at the ZEW Summer Workshop 2017 included the latest theoretical, empirical and experimental developments in the design of market institutions, with a particular focus on auctions and matching markets. High-profile guests were invited to speak at the event, including Professor Dorothea Kübler from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Professor Alexander Westkamp from the University of Cologne, Professor Frank Wolak from Stanford University and Professor Christine Zulehner from Goethe University in Frankfurt.

For further information please contact:

Stefan Frübing, Phone +49(0)621/1235-328, E-mail



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