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Honors and Awards

UMass Economist Isabella Weber Featured in Capital’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’

Isabella Weber, assistant professor of economics, was recently featured as a “Top 40 Under 40” by Capital, the most widely-read business publication in Germany. Capital’s “Top 40 Under 40” celebrates professionals bringing fresh perspectives and confidence to address current issues in Germany and worldwide. Many of those chosen to receive the 2022 award are working on projects focused on the global economic crisis, the ongoing war in Ukraine and sustainability and conservation efforts.

isabella weber
Isabella Weber

“I didn’t see this [award] coming,” says Weber. “I was in the middle of the intense work on the German government’s expert commission on the gas crisis. It was only when I received the certificate that I had the chance to process the happy news.”

The honor comes on the heels of Germany’s decision to implement energy price cap measures suggested by Weber in an effort to slow inflation. In late 2021, Weber authored an op-ed for The Guardian explaining how price caps could help alleviate Germany’s economic crisis. The suggestion sharply divided economic experts and led to a campaign of online harassment against the young economist, including a highly-critical tweet from Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, a well-known economist, and columnist for The New York Times.

The online harassment slowed after other well-known economists stepped into the conversation to defend Weber and Krugman apologized for his initial tweet. “I didn’t doubt my thesis,” says Weber. “[In my op-ed], I argued that after the COVID shutdown, we experienced an unusual form of inflation connected to supply shocks and profit explosions that cannot be controlled by increasing interest rates,” Weber notes that the economic climate post-COVID-shutdown closely resembles what was experienced at the end of World War II, where selective price caps were used to stabilize the global economy.

“It’s important to find allies, people who think alike or, even more importantly, to be open-minded enough to listen and seriously consider out-of-the-box ideas,” says Weber in response to being asked what advice she would give other young professionals who find themselves facing criticism by more senior members of their field. “This helped me to work with colleagues, to develop my thoughts, and to have the courage to stand by my analysis.”

In addition to being featured in Capital’s “Top 40 Under 40,” Weber is also the author of the book “How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate,” which received the 2021 Joan Robinson Prize from the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy. She is currently working on her second book, exploring emerging economies.

Capital's profile of Weber can be found in its original German at, and can be automatically translated into English using the Chrome web browser.