The winner of this year’s Master's Thesis Award of the Utrecht University School of Economics is Majed Nabod. The prize has been handed out to Majed during the Financial Management graduation ceremony on 12 October 2017.
In this thesis The Role of Brand Value as a Buffer During Financial Shocks, Majed explores how intangible assets such as brand value can protect and help firms sustain through difficult economic times, such as large financial shocks.
The jury thought that his thesis was distinctive in many ways: carefully crafted introduction outlining a timely academic contribution, well-written literature review and development of hypothesis, interesting data analysis, and very mature discussion of findings and implications. His thesis shows how informal institutions such as brand name and reputation are valuable for firms and impact firm value in real-life. This adds to traditional economic valuation models and injects current economic models with a real world perspective.
The other finalists (Joanne Moloney, Margarida Bandeira Morais, Luuk Blom, Dana Entcheva, Lucas van Doorn) have done a truly good job. We celebrated this at each of their MSc graduation ceremonies.
Each year the top Master's thesis from all Utrecht University School of Economics 1-year MSc programmes is recognized with the U.S.E. Master's Thesis Award. The thesis needs to be written and completed in semester 2 and is chosen for its relevance, academic merit, and particularly for its integration of a ‘real world perspective’ into an economics issue. The author of the winning thesis is awarded with a certificate and cash prize during the Master’s Graduation ceremony.